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  #201  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:01 AM
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First of all: In 2000 one State was very very close, but we've never had a very very close popular national vote for President. If you think that is a necessary fact of statistics please start a Pit thread "Statistics: Explain it to me like I'm an imbecile because I am."

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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Unlike, say, 2000? That, and 2004, would NOT have happened with the NPVIC. Nor would we have the current disaster.
We just witnessed blatant ugly cheating to turn one Delgate seat in Virginia. But you think the Republcian Governor and Electors of Florida would have happily voted for Gore? Note that, even with their hands theoretically tied, Florida would need a recount just to see which electors cast their votes under NPVIC. And there'd be chance for litigation in other states as well, if the popular vote were close. Your comments seem to assume that no legal controversy could be invented. Would you like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge please?

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It's about time somebody making that sort of statement describe how it would happen. Who would sue whom, and on what basis and with what standing?

No more handwaving, please.
In your examples it might start with the Florida Electors simply casting their votes for Bush and saying "Sue us!" Your move. (Remember we got the Alito-Gorsuch court now, if it gets that far.)
  #202  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:05 AM
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Maybe the problem isn't with everyone else, yanno.
Review #29 and decide who has better foresight about political matters: Me or the average Doper?
  #203  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
This was all handwaved early on, including by you. Nothing substantive, however.
Really? Care to explain, without handwaving of course, why the losing candidate in an election decided by the NPVIC would not have standing to sue in court? Alternatively, heal thyself.
  #204  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
This was all handwaved early on, including by you. Nothing substantive, however.
If thereís any hand waving going on, it is about the shortfalls and problems of this proposal. In fact, thereís so much handwaving going on in that front that Iím a little worried that you might start flying with all of the flapping of extremities going on.
  #205  
Old 01-08-2018, 09:50 AM
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There's a whole lot of "This is unconstitutional! Congress will never allow it! The courts will interfere! It will be stopped!" going on, but not a lot of how, is there? It takes more than repeated assertions to make up a debate.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 01-08-2018 at 09:54 AM.
  #206  
Old 01-08-2018, 10:04 AM
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There's a whole lot of "This is unconstitutional! Congress will never allow it! The courts will interfere! It will be stopped!" going on, but not a lot of how, is there? It takes more than repeated assertions to make up a debate.
Itís usually up to proponents to make the case that their idea is solid. In this thread, we have just seen all the various posts that say, ďThereís a problem here... and one there... and another thereĒ followed with your your posts saying ďNuh-uh! YOUíRE handwaving! YOUíRE the puppet!Ē
  #207  
Old 01-08-2018, 10:46 AM
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There's a whole lot of "This is unconstitutional! Congress will never allow it! The courts will interfere! It will be stopped!" going on, but not a lot of how, is there? It takes more than repeated assertions to make up a debate.
Obviously, it's impossible to know how a court would rule on this unless it actually comes into effect, somebody sues, and it goes to court.

The argument I'd make, though, is like the one I gave earlier. First, I'd argue it's an unconstitutional compact. Second, I'd make an equity argument...that the majority/plurality of voters in the state voted for candidate X, and the compact violates the will of the voter by naming electors pledged to vote for candidate Y. It's a weak argument given prior caselaw, but I'd make it anyway, because I'm a liberal and I like equity arguments.
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  #208  
Old 01-08-2018, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
First of all: In 2000 one State was very very close, but we've never had a very very close popular national vote for President. If you think that is a necessary fact of statistics please start a Pit thread "Statistics: Explain it to me like I'm an imbecile because I am."
I'm going to interpret this as a general statement directed towards no one in particular but it could easily go the other way. Dial back the rhetoric - it's not effective and will earn you sanction in the future.

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  #209  
Old 01-08-2018, 10:55 AM
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I apologize. I obviously crossed the line. My only "excuse" is that I'm very much too excitable.
  #210  
Old 01-08-2018, 11:33 AM
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Obviously, it's impossible to know how a court would rule on this unless it actually comes into effect, somebody sues, and it goes to court.
That's the question, dammit- who would sue, where, and on what basis, or what legislation Congress would pass. If you're going to insist it would be stopped, some plausible idea of how would be helpful.

ETA: You too, Ravenman. Back up what you say.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 01-08-2018 at 11:35 AM.
  #211  
Old 01-08-2018, 11:45 AM
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That's the question, dammit- who would sue, where, and on what basis, or what legislation Congress would pass. If you're going to insist it would be stopped, some plausible idea of how would be helpful.
I've seen, at least, three theories presented already.

1. Dave Democrat wins the majority of the vote in Hawaii, however Roger Republican wins the plurality of the national vote. Dave sues the Hawaii Secretary of State (or equivalent) in federal district court in Hawaii seeking to block Hawaii's electors from being required to vote for Roger on the grounds that the NPVIC is an unconstitutional compact.

2. Dave Democrat wins the majority of the vote in Hawaii, however Roger Republican wins the plurality of the national vote. Eloise Elector feels that Hawaii's electoral votes should be allocated based on Hawaii's vote, so she sues in Hawaii federal court on the grounds that the NPVIC is an unconstitutional compact..

3. Same as 2, but instead of suing, Eloise and a majority of the Hawaii delegation meet and cast Hawaii's electoral votes for Dave. Roger sues to block the result, seeking to compel Hawaii to apply the NPVIC.

I don't know if any of these work, but it might be helpful if you explained why you think they won't.

Last edited by Falchion; 01-08-2018 at 11:46 AM.
  #212  
Old 01-08-2018, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
That's the question, dammit- who would sue, where, and on what basis, or what legislation Congress would pass. If you're going to insist it would be stopped, some plausible idea of how would be helpful.

ETA: You too, Ravenman. Back up what you say.
I told you, already, in the same post you quoted. An elector for the candidate who won the popular vote in the state where the electors were awardedicated to the other candidate could sue to be named as elector, on the grounds that interstate compacts are unconstitutional on their face and that refusing to seat him or her goes against the will of the voters of the state.
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  #213  
Old 01-08-2018, 12:03 PM
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You can certainly claim that a lot of states doing the same thing individually is somehow in violation of part of the Constitution that is clearly meant for different purposes. But then you also have to claim that this part of the Constitution is somehow unconstitutional: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress."

IOW claiming that such a suit would even be plausible is, well, let's just be kind and call it dubious, okay?
  #214  
Old 01-08-2018, 12:10 PM
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But then you also have to claim that this part of the Constitution is somehow unconstitutional: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress."
Let's start simply. Have you ever read the compact clause?
  #215  
Old 01-08-2018, 12:13 PM
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But then you also have to claim that this part of the Constitution is somehow unconstitutional: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress."

It's not actually a revolutionary claim that a state (or federal) government might, in exercising its constitutional powers, be constrained by other provisions of the Constitution, without concluding that those powers are, themselves, unconstitutional.
  #216  
Old 01-08-2018, 12:52 PM
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It's not actually a revolutionary claim that a state (or federal) government might, in exercising its constitutional powers, be constrained by other provisions of the Constitution, without concluding that those powers are, themselves, unconstitutional.
I wonder how certain folks would react if the states decided to allocate their electors based on readings from Revelation.
  #217  
Old 01-08-2018, 01:31 PM
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Let's start simply. Have you ever read the compact clause?
Of course. Relevance?

Have you read the part about the Electoral College? I quoted the key section for you, as a hint.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 01-08-2018 at 01:32 PM.
  #218  
Old 01-08-2018, 01:34 PM
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It's not actually a revolutionary claim that a state (or federal) government might, in exercising its constitutional powers, be constrained by other provisions of the Constitution, without concluding that those powers are, themselves, unconstitutional.
If you're going to make the Commerce Clause argument next, go for it. If you have something else in mind, kindly flesh it out for us.
  #219  
Old 01-08-2018, 01:38 PM
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I wonder how certain folks would react if the states decided to allocate their electors based on readings from Revelation.
Instead of just Mississippi and Alabama?

The legislatures of all states and DC do so direct that their electors are appointed according to popular vote - as of today. It hasn't always been so, and there is nothing in the US Constitution requiring it to be so.
  #220  
Old 01-08-2018, 01:39 PM
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Of course. Relevance?

Have you read the part about the Electoral College? I quoted the key section for you, as a hint.
Could a state allocate its electors based on readings from Revelation?

How about based on which candidate belonged to the Baptist Church?

How about based on the race of a candidate?

If no to any of those, why not?

Last edited by John Mace; 01-08-2018 at 01:40 PM.
  #221  
Old 01-08-2018, 01:42 PM
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What part of "in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct" are you having trouble with?
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:43 PM
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What part of "in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct" are you having trouble with?
So, your answer is yes to all three? Let's be clear here.
  #223  
Old 01-08-2018, 01:50 PM
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This does open a whole new chapter of Constitutional Interpretation. The Constitution says that each House of Congress can set its own rules. That must mean that the Senate could, for example, set a rule that "votes will not be counted from Senators who are Jews or Negroes".

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Originally Posted by US Constitution; Article 1, Section 5
Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings...
  #224  
Old 01-08-2018, 01:55 PM
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So, your answer is yes to all three? Let's be clear here.
So you do have a substantive question in there somewhere? One that's actually leading to a point, not just stalling and handwaving? Yes, do please be clear here.

If you're somehow claiming that a legislature can't do something ridiculous, fine, except for the numberless counterexamples. Unless that's somehow linked to a claim of the national popular vote being equally ridiculous, you're wasting time.

Still wondering who'd file suit where, claiming what. Or what national legislation would override it. Oh well, didn't expect it.
  #225  
Old 01-08-2018, 01:57 PM
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Coupla things:
1. There are already a bunch of interstate compacts. Here's some.
2. This isn't actually one. Each state is acting individually.
3. It isn't a proposal anymore - it's already a long way toward enactment. Over 30% of the EC is represented in states that have already passed it, and bills are pending for 25% more. As soon as the total breaks 50%, we have a national popular vote, like a civilized democracy.
Except for the simple fact that the United States is NOT a democracy. Never has been (by design) and hopefully never will be.
  #226  
Old 01-08-2018, 02:11 PM
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It wasn't designed to let women or blacks vote, either. But we fixed that. This is just the next step.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:17 PM
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It wasn't designed to let women or blacks vote, either. But we fixed that. This is just the next step.
We fixed it by amending the Constitution. If we amended the Constitution to get rid of the electoral college, I probably wouldn't object too loudly.
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  #228  
Old 01-08-2018, 02:29 PM
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So you do have a substantive question in there somewhere? One that's actually leading to a point, not just stalling and handwaving? Yes, do please be clear here.

If you're somehow claiming that a legislature can't do something ridiculous, fine, except for the numberless counterexamples. Unless that's somehow linked to a claim of the national popular vote being equally ridiculous, you're wasting time.

Still wondering who'd file suit where, claiming what. Or what national legislation would override it. Oh well, didn't expect it.
No, I'm not claiming that at all (Ephasis added). States do that all the time. I'm claiming that the state Legislatures can't do something that violates the Constitution. You know, like the parts about "Establishment of Religion", "No religious test" and "Equal Protection".

I don't know if you somehow think that consistency of ignorance is some sort of virtue, but it isn't. I'm honestly too embarrassed to continue this conversation any further.
  #229  
Old 01-08-2018, 02:34 PM
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When every last EV counts, as it did once again in 2016, yes, it does mean a lot. When it results in overruling democracy, it means a hell of a lot.

The small-state issue is really a rural/urban issue, meaning rural people (stereotype them all you like) and their interests have outsized influence. That's nothing new; and hasn't been since that was understood at the Constitutional Convention to be the price of keeping the slave states in the Union. You even see that pattern in electoral maps today.

UltraVires: We have a government of/by/for We the People. Not dirt. Glad to help clear that up for ya.
So you admit that at the Constitutional Convention we gave smaller states a bump in power, yet in the very next paragraph you make a sarcastic comment as if direct democracy is clearly the system of government we have?

That slave state of Connecticut was the one that proposed that each state have equal say, btw, but the compromise gave us what we have now: a slight increase in power for rural states, not state by state equality.

The bottom line is that we would never have had, nor would we continue to have, a union of states if California and New York could just force everything down the throats of those in "flyover" country.

That was the deal when we formed this country, and the small states are not going to agree to change it.
  #230  
Old 01-08-2018, 02:39 PM
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I'm claiming that the state Legislatures can't do something that violates the Constitution.
Good. Except that the Constitution explicitly provides for them to direct the manner of appointing electors. They can't violate it by definition. Clear now?

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I don't know if you somehow think that consistency of ignorance is some sort of virtue, but it isn't. I'm honestly too embarrassed to continue this conversation any further.
Yes, you should be embarrassed by your performance here. Try coming up with an argument first next time.

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That was the deal when we formed this country, and the small states are not going to agree to change it.
So they're going to secede again? Yeehaw.

The argument against strengthening our democracy, in favor instead of retaining excess minority power and its parochial interests, has resonance only there, and not unanimously, either.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 01-08-2018 at 02:42 PM.
  #231  
Old 01-08-2018, 02:52 PM
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It wasn't designed to let women or blacks vote, either. But we fixed that. This is just the next step.
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We fixed it by amending the Constitution. If we amended the Constitution to get rid of the electoral college, I probably wouldn't object too loudly.
Not really. The Constitution was fixed so that women and blacks could not be prevented from voting because they were women or black. But "mere" state law allowed them to vote. 30 states permitted women to vote in the 1916 Presidential election which was the last before the the 19th Amendment was passed. State laws can fix things provided they don't do so in Unconstitutional manners. As the states are allowed to chose their electors in a manner of their choosing, presumably it does not take an Amendment to allow them to choose in the way this proposal directs.

Also not addressed in response to the issues here, but some people seem to think that each state has a slate of electors who are directed how to vote. This is not true. Each candidate has a slate of electors picked before the election and "pledged" to him/her. It is those electors who are chosen to cast the electoral ballots. This makes it less likely there will be a faithless elector just because state X is so red or blue.

I was actually asked to be such an elector this past election for a minor candidate who had no chance of winning my state, but had to decline because I was not going to be available on the date where I'd have to travel to Hartford CT. He kept badgering me that he wasn't going to win so my pledge didn't matter at all. I countered with I wasn't going to agree to commit to something I knew I couldn't fulfill regardless, and if there weren't at least 9 people in the state he could find to agree to be electors, he should just drop off the ballot.
  #232  
Old 01-08-2018, 02:57 PM
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Good. Except that the Constitution explicitly provides for them to dircitiect the manner of appointing electors. They can't violate it by definition. Clear now?
It has been pointed out in this thread about twenty times that this power is not absolute and is further subject to the compact clause.

No state could say that a panel of ten black, Protestant, heterosexual, female citizens gets to picks its electors. A state can certainly violate the clause.

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So they're going to secede again? Yeehaw.

The argument against strengthening our democracy, in favor instead of retaining excess minority power and its parochial interests, has resonance only there, and not unanimously, either.
Not secede, just not approve.
  #233  
Old 01-08-2018, 03:09 PM
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It has been pointed out in this thread about twenty times that this power is not absolute and is further subject to the compact clause.
It has been asserted, yes. But not supported.

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No state could say that a panel of ten black, Protestant, heterosexual, female citizens gets to picks its electors. A state can certainly violate the clause.
Okay, where do you get that from?

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Not secede, just not approve.
Then tough noogies.
  #234  
Old 01-09-2018, 01:32 AM
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That was the deal when we formed this country, and the small states are not going to agree to change it.
I'm looking at the list of states that have enacted this proposal, and it doesn't seem so far that the small states are especially unlikely to approve. Three of the ten states that have done so have 3 or 4 electoral votes.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 01-09-2018 at 01:34 AM.
  #235  
Old 01-09-2018, 08:46 AM
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I'm looking at the list of states that have enacted this proposal, and it doesn't seem so far that the small states are especially unlikely to approve. Three of the ten states that have done so have 3 or 4 electoral votes.
The only states that approved it are heavily Democratic leaning states. That is the key, and there are not enough of those to make this thing work.
  #236  
Old 01-09-2018, 08:59 AM
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Yes, you should be embarrassed by your performance here. Try coming up with an argument first next time.
Thatís enough, Elvis. Donít be a jerk.
  #237  
Old 01-09-2018, 10:07 AM
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The post that was responding to wasn't? Okay then.
  #238  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:30 AM
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Of course. Relevance?

Have you read the part about the Electoral College? I quoted the key section for you, as a hint.
Great. So you are aware of the two provisions that bear on this question.

Are are aware of the rule of construction in which courts are required to give equal standing to all parts of any law, so as not to render one part of the law superfluous? Do you understand why that is important to this issue?
  #239  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:40 AM
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If you do have an argument, you're invited to present it. Any time at all. Do please tell us - without being a jerk, mind - how the Constitution's own definition of the authority for choosing electors is not definitive on the subject of the authority for choosing electors. And it had better be a good one, too, after all this buildup.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 01-09-2018 at 11:44 AM.
  #240  
Old 01-09-2018, 11:50 AM
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Great. So you are aware of the two provisions that bear on this question.

Are are aware of the rule of construction in which courts are required to give equal standing to all parts of any law, so as not to render one part of the law superfluous? Do you understand why that is important to this issue?
Is that the rule where, if two parts of the constitution appear to be in conflict, you get to pick the part that aligns with your political bias and ignore the part that doesn't?
  #241  
Old 01-09-2018, 12:06 PM
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No, it's the rule where, if you can find a part of the Constitution that's obviously intended for another use but has the same word in it as in the name of a law that you object to, then you can claim equivalence to a part that explicitly permits it.

Unless it's the rule that lets you keep arguing even after you've been shown to be wrong. Maybe that's it.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 01-09-2018 at 12:10 PM.
  #242  
Old 01-09-2018, 12:17 PM
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Then it's clear that the answer to Ravenman's questions are: No and no.
  #243  
Old 01-09-2018, 01:00 PM
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Which is all I meant to establish, really.

I wonder if this approach may apply to how ElvisL1ves may read a last will and testament. Imagine one that reads:

1. Joe gets $60,000.
2. Jan gets the house.
3. Jeremy gets the car.
4. Jackie gets the dog.
5. Elvis gets everything else.

He may think: I donít want the dog or the car, so I will hire an attorney to ask the judge to only enforce clauses 3, 4, and 5. The will makes perfect sense if we just ignore 1 and 2!!! Besides, those whiners Joe and Jan are just hand wavers anyway.
  #244  
Old 01-09-2018, 02:06 PM
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  #245  
Old 01-09-2018, 02:09 PM
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Say, here's an idea around the "interstate compacts are unconstitutional" problem:

The minute that enough states support it so it would take effect, have those state legislatures "repeal and replace" it with identical laws that are not subject to other states' laws.

The only problems I can see with this off hand are:
(a) Not every state might let the legislature do this, but might require a vote of the people;
(b) There's no guarantee that every state that voted for the compact still wants it, in which case, you run the risk of the popular vote winner not being elected - but you would think that enough electoral votes would be decided this way that the chance of the popular vote winner not being elected would be slim.
  #246  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:03 PM
Ravenman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That Don Guy View Post
Say, here's an idea around the "interstate compacts are unconstitutional" problem:

The minute that enough states support it so it would take effect, have those state legislatures "repeal and replace" it with identical laws that are not subject to other states' laws.

The only problems I can see with this off hand are:
(a) Not every state might let the legislature do this, but might require a vote of the people;
(b) There's no guarantee that every state that voted for the compact still wants it, in which case, you run the risk of the popular vote winner not being elected - but you would think that enough electoral votes would be decided this way that the chance of the popular vote winner not being elected would be slim.
Remember when courts looked at Trump's travel ban and his history of saying "Muslim ban Muslim ban Muslim ban Muslim ban Muslim ban Muslim ban Muslim ban Muslim ban.... uh, this is NOT a Muslim ban... yeah, that's the ticket!"

You think the courts were generally swayed by the last few words uttered in pure coveryourassery, and ignored everything else said previously?

If not, why do you think "Compact compact compact compact compact compact compact... uh, it isn't a compact anymore... that's the ticket!" is more convincing?
  #247  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:12 PM
k9bfriender is offline
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Say, here's an idea around the "interstate compacts are unconstitutional" problem:
Better idea. Interstate compacts are not unconstitutional in the first place.

They are unconstitutional if they are not approved by congress, but as long as congress give its blessing then there is no problem, right?

In order to get congress to pass a bill making these compacts legal would require far less than needed to get an amendment fixing the EC.

If congress passed a bill making this compact valid, would any of the arguments against it in this thread be relevant anymore?
  #248  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:16 PM
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Sigh ... Which of these parts of the Constitution applies to selecting electors? The one about states forming military alliances with each other, outside the structure of the federal government:
Quote:
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Or the one that actually is about the selection of electors:
Quote:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress:
You can keep saying "Compact compact compact" if you think that's actually a relevant argument, but I assure you it is not, and that the laughter and pointing will only continue.
  #249  
Old 01-09-2018, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Better idea. Interstate compacts are not unconstitutional in the first place.

They are unconstitutional if they are not approved by congress, but as long as congress give its blessing then there is no problem, right?

In order to get congress to pass a bill making these compacts legal would require far less than needed to get an amendment fixing the EC.

If congress passed a bill making this compact valid, would any of the arguments against it in this thread be relevant anymore?
You still need to get 60 Senators, which is easier than getting 67, but only slightly more so. But the bigger hurdle is probably getting the thing to pass enough states in the first place, and there does not appear to be a realistic path for that happen.
  #250  
Old 01-09-2018, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Sigh ... Which of these parts of the Constitution applies to selecting electors? The one about states forming military alliances with each other, outside the structure of the federal government:

Or the one that actually is about the selection of electors:

You can keep saying "Compact compact compact" if you think that's actually a relevant argument, but I assure you it is not, and that the laughter and pointing will only continue.
Do you think that states are free to disregard the 24th Amendment (abolition of poll taxes) under the argument that states can choose electors in any manner they wish, such as establishing elections with poll taxes?

Do you think that states are free to disregard the 15th Amendment (right to vote not abridged by race) under the argument that states can choose electors in any manner they wish, such as establishing elections that are whites-only?

Do you think that states are free to disregard the 19th Amendment (right to vote not abridged by sex) under the argument that states can choose electors in any manner they wish, such as establishing elections that are men-only?

Do you think that states are free to disregard Art VI sec 3 (prohibition on religious tests for all public officers) under the argument that states can choose electors in any manner they wish, such as requiring electors to be only from the faith of the Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?

After considering the above, is it still your contention that Art II sec 1 (the appointing of electors) shall be read to the exclusion of all other provisions of the Constitution?
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