Electoral College, constitutional crisis in the making

Hanging Chad

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) calls the Electoral College a “scam,” says it has a “racial injustice breakdown.” I guess this means that AOC believes the Electoral College is racist and the founding fathers of the U.S. Consitution are part of this “scam” for even suggesting the idea.

It has been the dream of the political left to do away with the Electoral College and move to a popular vote, as this process favors their prospects for maintaining their power. The political Right would prefer to see a more regional distribution of power, which would help their political prospects. Despite the rationale of the constitutional framers, any changes in this electoral process would have profound effects on U.S. politics. The degradation of the Electoral College process is well underway.

A U.S. appeals court in Denver, just recently said, Electoral College electors can vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and aren’t bound by the popular vote in their states. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Colorado secretary of state violated the Constitution in 2016 when he removed an elector and nullified his vote when the elector refused to cast his ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote. The laws of binding an Electoral College elector to a candidate is in flux – state laws and faithless electors. There is a well-organized plan to in effect nullify the principles of the Electoral College set forth in the U.S. Consitution, The National Popular Vote (NPV).

The NPV plan guarantees the election of the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The NPV plan is a state statute in the form of an interstate compact. It creates an agreement among states to award all of their electoral votes collectively to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. This agreement takes effect only once the participating states together hold a majority of electoral votes (270 of 538) – guaranteeing that the winner of the national popular vote will win an Electoral College majority. Right now the movement is nearly 70% to becoming a reality.

News Forecasters won’t even attempt to sort through the legal or constitutional issues, rather on what the arc of human nature will take to drive the legal technocrats, which will then drive the political outcome. Find me a well-paid lawyer, and you will have a good argument. Mix in the correct political players and the impossible becomes possible.

Here is the point. Trump won the 2016 presidential election by 304 Electoral votes. The key Electoral state Florida, with their 29 Electoral votes was the swing state – won by Trump with only about 100K votes out of about 9 million votes. All things being the same, and with increasing demographics favoring Democrats, what if in 2020 Trump loses Florida. That puts the vote at 274, 4 votes more need to win – a thin Electoral College margin. It wouldn’t take many faithless electors to change the outcome, it has happened before, sending the whole presidential outcome into a constitutional crisis.

This scenario for 2020 is a reasonable possibility (5 to 10%). If this should occur the announcement of the next president might delay several months, pending the outcome of several Supreme Court legal challenges of the Electoral College vote. We could be headed for another election decided by the Supreme Court – it has happened before. Faithless electors will be challenged, media scrums into the elector’s past (social media) and numerous recounts. This stalling of the results will cause markets to pause and falter the economy, as the two possible 2020 candidates will be very different and would affect business significantly.

A video presentation of this subject:

Leave a Reply