The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that Colorado's Electoral College electors aren't required to cast their vote for the presidential candidate who wins the most votes in their state.

 

The case began in 2016 when three of Colorado's nine electors, the "faithless" electors, voted for John Kasich instead of Hillary Clinton in an attempt to undermine Trump's election.

But now the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the state was wrong.

The judges wrote: "Article II and the Twelfth Amendment provide presidential electors the right to cast a vote for president and vice president with discretion. And the state does not possess countervailing authority to remove an elector and to cancel his vote in response to the exercise of that constitutional right."

The court said the Electoral College "did not exist before ratification of the federal Constitution, and thus the states could reserve no rights related to it under the Tenth Amendment."

The judges said the Constitution "provides a detailed list of procedures that must be performed by specific actors — not including the states – after appointment."

"The electors must list all votes cast … certify that list, and send it to the president of the Senate. Even where an elector violates a state-required pledge to vote for the winners of the state popular election, there is nothing in the federal Constitution that allows the state to remove that elector or to nullify his votes.

"And in the absence of such express authority, the states may not interfere with the electors' exercise of discretion in voting for president and vice president by removing the elector and mollifying his vote."

The decision could create uncertainty in presidential elections as voters will be dependent on the integrity of their electors to follow the will of the popular vote to choose a president.

The decision also creates the same turmoil for advocates of the National Popular Vote interstate compact, a coalition of states that have agreed to give their votes to the candidate who gains the most votes nationally.

The Colorado Sun reported the case is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Elector Michael Baca was the one who refused to vote for Clinton and instead tried to back John Kasich, then Ohio governor. Colorado's secretary of state at the time, Wayne Williams, ordered him to vote for Clinton, and when he refused, replaced him.

Two other electors who threatened a rebellion, Polly Baca (unrelated to Michael) and Robert Nemanich, bowed to Williams' orders and voted for Clinton.

America is Still Free to a Fault

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