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Legislatures allowed to choose whichever way to set their electors

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  • Legislatures allowed to choose whichever way to set their electors

    Here's a question. Colorado is currently a blue state. It wasn't all that long ago that it was a swing state.

    Here's a hypothetical.

    Let's say that Colorado decides goes Red. Then, in an act of helping the presidency stay GOP, decides to tie the states electoral vote to the result of the popular vote in Wyoming (which went 70% for Trump in 2020). At the most basic constitutional reading, this is legal because, as stated legislatures can choose to assign their votes however they want.

    We know that this action would be met with a lawsuit.

    What do you think the outcome would be, and why?

  • #2
    Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
    Here's a question. Colorado is currently a blue state. It wasn't all that long ago that it was a swing state.

    Here's a hypothetical.

    Let's say that Colorado decides goes Red. Then, in an act of helping the presidency stay GOP, decides to tie the states electoral vote to the result of the popular vote in Wyoming (which went 70% for Trump in 2020). At the most basic constitutional reading, this is legal because, as stated legislatures can choose to assign their votes however they want.

    We know that this action would be met with a lawsuit.

    What do you think the outcome would be, and why?
    It would probably become a moot point before it ever reached the SCOTUS in that enraged Colorado voters would kick out the politicians who were responsible (likely through recall elections) and the law would be repealed.


    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

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    • #3
      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      It would probably become a moot point before it ever reached the SCOTUS in that enraged Colorado voters would kick out the politicians who were responsible (likely through recall elections) and the law would be repealed.
      Possibly, but lets pretend that result ends up not happening. Perhaps because they do it close enough to a presidential election that there's no time for a recall to happen. But with enough time for it to make it all the way up to scotus.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
        Here's a question. Colorado is currently a blue state. It wasn't all that long ago that it was a swing state.

        Here's a hypothetical.

        Let's say that Colorado decides goes Red. Then, in an act of helping the presidency stay GOP, decides to tie the states electoral vote to the result of the popular vote in Wyoming (which went 70% for Trump in 2020). At the most basic constitutional reading, this is legal because, as stated legislatures can choose to assign their votes however they want.

        We know that this action would be met with a lawsuit.

        What do you think the outcome would be, and why?
        I would hope that 100% of the country would be outraged and take to the streets.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post
          Here's a question. Colorado is currently a blue state. It wasn't all that long ago that it was a swing state.

          Here's a hypothetical.

          Let's say that Colorado decides goes Red. Then, in an act of helping the presidency stay GOP, decides to tie the states electoral vote to the result of the popular vote in Wyoming (which went 70% for Trump in 2020). At the most basic constitutional reading, this is legal because, as stated legislatures can choose to assign their votes however they want.

          We know that this action would be met with a lawsuit.

          What do you think the outcome would be, and why?
          The lawsuit would be dismissed because such a decision is obviously constitutional. States can choose their electors however they want. If they wanted, they could require the two candidates to go on Jeopardy and give the electors to whoever wins it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LiconaFan97 View Post

            I would hope that 100% of the country would be outraged and take to the streets.
            And the lawsuit?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

              And the lawsuit?
              Ok I misread your hypothetical a little. It seems like you're trying to make some weird analogy to the popular vote compact? In any case, I think directly tying one states electors to the outcome of a particular alternate state would disenfranchise voters in a way the popular vote compact wouldn't since at that level you're directly invalidating the impact of Colorado's votes whereas in the popular vote compact everyone's vote still counts towards the popular vote winner. So it should be a lot easier to demonstrate standing in your scenario.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Terraceth View Post
                The lawsuit would be dismissed because such a decision is obviously constitutional. States can choose their electors however they want. If they wanted, they could require the two candidates to go on Jeopardy and give the electors to whoever wins it.
                A lawsuit challenging its constitutionality would be thrown out, but a lawsuit challenging the legality may not.

                Coloradoans vote according to its current state laws, and the assumption is that their votes will count. To ignore those votes and whatever laws are currently on the books, linking state electors on the outcome of another state, seems likely to be illegal for Colorado.

                Of course, I'm guessing. A lawyer familiar with Colorado laws would know.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ronson View Post

                  A lawsuit challenging its constitutionality would be thrown out, but a lawsuit challenging the legality may not.

                  Coloradoans vote according to its current state laws, and the assumption is that their votes will count. To ignore those votes and whatever laws are currently on the books, linking state electors on the outcome of another state, seems likely to be illegal for Colorado.

                  Of course, I'm guessing. A lawyer familiar with Colorado laws would know.
                  But in this hypothetical situation it couldn't be illegal according to the Colorado laws because to make it so the electors are chosen according to the popular vote in Wyoming, Colorado would have to change those laws to begin with (how electors are selected is set by state law).

                  This is kind of like someone asking a hypothetical about Idaho making marijuana legal, and then saying in response "What about the laws on the books that make marijuana illegal?" The assumption in this scenario is that those laws would be changed in the process.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Terraceth View Post
                    But in this hypothetical situation it couldn't be illegal according to the Colorado laws because to make it so the electors are chosen according to the popular vote in Wyoming, Colorado would have to change those laws to begin with (how electors are selected is set by state law).

                    This is kind of like someone asking a hypothetical about Idaho making marijuana legal, and then saying in response "What about the laws on the books that make marijuana illegal?" The assumption in this scenario is that those laws would be changed in the process.
                    Well, I understood the OP to mean this decision was made hastily - before any laws could be changed - in order to swing Electoral votes for Trump.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Terraceth View Post
                      The lawsuit would be dismissed because such a decision is obviously constitutional. States can choose their electors however they want. If they wanted, they could require the two candidates to go on Jeopardy and give the electors to whoever wins it.
                      It may be dismissed, but I think it would actually go through alot of proceedings before hand. There is the obvious disenfranchisement of colorado voters going on, and the courts may weigh in on it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ronson View Post

                        Well, I understood the OP to mean this decision was made hastily - before any laws could be changed - in order to swing Electoral votes for Trump.
                        So, sorta like a governor declaring that he has a pen and a phone, acknowledging what he's doing is likely illegal and then doing it any way?

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          So, sorta like a governor declaring that he has a pen and a phone, acknowledging what he's doing is likely illegal and then doing it any way?
                          Sounds like you are referring to something specific but I don't know what.

                          I know I would be quite ticked if my governor or Legislature said "Oh, we don't like the way the Missouri election turned out, so we're going to direct the electors to vote the same way as Illinois, next door." I can't imagine such a case not being illegal.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ronson View Post

                            Well, I understood the OP to mean this decision was made hastily - before any laws could be changed - in order to swing Electoral votes for Trump.
                            It looked to me like it was talking about a general hypothetical, i.e. doing it sometime before the next election. But I suppose the original poster can clarify.


                            Originally posted by CivilDiscourse View Post

                            It may be dismissed, but I think it would actually go through alot of proceedings before hand. There is the obvious disenfranchisement of colorado voters going on, and the courts may weigh in on it.
                            And what law does this "disenfranchisement" offend? (even if there is some state law that does so, it would be presumably changed as a result of the law change giving the electors to the winner of Wyoming)

                            It certainly doesn't offend the Constitution, which grants states plenary power over the choosing of electors.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Terraceth View Post
                              It looked to me like it was talking about a general hypothetical, i.e. doing it sometime before the next election. But I suppose the original poster can clarify.



                              And what law does this "disenfranchisement" offend? (even if there is some state law that does so, it would be presumably changed as a result of the law change giving the electors to the winner of Wyoming)

                              It certainly doesn't offend the Constitution, which grants states plenary power over the choosing of electors.
                              You've seen how our court systems work.

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