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Old 08-23-2019, 10:12 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 19,177
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Maybe I'm completely missing the boat, but I see this ruling (if it stands) as turning the electors into a bunch of wild cards, subject to no one's control. If they have consciences, that could be a good thing.
What the ruling does is clarify/establish the fact that while the States have authority over the process by which the electors are elected/chosen, their actual participation in the Electoral College is a Federal exercise, and outside the authority of the States.

So basically they're saying that the States can't try to mandate how an elector will vote- they have no authority to interfere in the Federal Electoral College process like that.

The original intent of the Electoral College was that it would be some kind of august body of upstanding citizens, etc.. elected to choose a president. Kind of like a one-time, one-purpose Congress with one thing to vote on, if you want to think about it that way.

But over time, this morphed into something different- rather than electing individual electors, most states have their citizens elect a "slate" of electors chosen by each party, and in some states, there are penalties on the books for electors who don't vote according to what the "slate" is supposed to vote for.

This ruling is saying that no, the electors' votes are not subject to penalties like that, as they're part of a Federal process, and the States' authority ends at the point when they're elected.