Supreme Court will hear case on ‘faithless’ electors

A legal showdown is about to take place that could have an impact on future presidential elections.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will hear a case on whether members of the electoral college are required to vote for the winner of their state’s popular vote.  

Background

This particular case dates back to the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It will be remembered that Clinton won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote, which has led to all sorts of leftist criticism of the Electoral College.

What the reader may not know is that Clinton’s defeat in the electoral college was made worse by the fact that four members of that body — three from the state of Washington and one from Colorado — chose not to vote for Clinton even though she won their state’s popular vote. This is the cause of the legal battle.

Thus far, the Colorado federal courts have heard the case and decided that members of the electoral college are not required to vote for the winner of the popular vote.

The Washington State Supreme Court, on the other hand, went in the opposite direction, upholding a fine and rejecting the claims of the three “faithless” electors.

The law

One question to ask, in light of this legal battle, is what is the current law? Do members of the electoral college have to vote according to the popular vote?

Yes and no. As things currently stand, roughly 30 states have laws that require members of the electoral college to vote for the candidate who wins their state’s popular vote.

What’s more, is that this is the way things typically go anyway — members of the electoral college by and large vote for the popular candidate. It is quite rare that they do not.

In other words, the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision may not really change much.

Upcoming battle

Either way, the matter is now heading up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The nine justices will hear oral arguments this upcoming April. A decision could come as early as June.

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