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The Return of the "Faithless Elector"

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18.01.2020

As I predicted here, on Friday the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two consolidated cases (Chiafalo v. Washington (10th Cir.) and Colorado v. Baca (CO Supreme Court)) raising a significant question of constitutional law that the Court has never squarely addressed before: whether the Constitution, which expressly grants plenary power to the individual States to appoint presidential electors (Art. II sec. 1), permits those States to direct presidential electors to vote for a specific presidential candidate and to enforce those directions via ex post punishment, or whether, conversely, electors have a constitutionally-guaranteed right to use their discretion in deciding who to vote for.

Historian Michael Rosin and I, ably assisted by Michael Donofrio and Bridget Asay of the Stris & Maher law firm in Montpelier VT, submitted an amicus brief urging the Court to grant cert [available here], as well as amicus briefs on the merits in both of the cases at the appellate stage [available here].

So I'm naturally delighted that the Court agreed to take on the two cases. With the presidential election of 2020 looming just over the horizon, and given all of the attention,........

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