I am SERIOUSLY WORRIED that these riots are going to get Trump re-elected

The second amendment only says that the right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed. According to your argument, banning the sale of firearms in California would therefore be constitutional. A person in California could buy all the firearms they wanted by moving to Wyoming so their right to keep and bear arms is uninfringed.

That’s an infringement because a government is infringing on that right. You do not have an uninfringable constitutional right to equal weighting of your vote in presidential elections. In fact the constitution requires that the votes of citizens in California count for less in the presidential election than the vote of citizens in Wyoming. The way I see it, your choices are to to (i) move to Wyoming (ii) get a constitutional amendment passed, or (iii) accept the fact that when California joined the union, they knew the terms of engagement and signed on anyways.

That’s begging the question. You said earlier that citizens can move between states. So you can’t now declare that infringement exists when citizens have to move between states. You have to support your argument or let it die.

Your argument about the electoral college being in the constitution is irrelevant. Nobody is disputing that point. But the topic is whether the electoral college is a good idea. Saying that it should be a law because it is a law is a very weak argument. Do you have reasons to support why it should be a law?

I, too, fear that the false claims of “riots” will have an impact on the election.

That is true and your 2nd amendment point is a good one. I withdraw that point. While I continue to believe there is absolutely no equivalence between an actual constitutional right and a desire to have a right that contradicts constitutional mandate, your concern is not addressed by me telling you to move.

I think there are pros and cons to both the electoral system and the popular vote. Some people here seem to think it is a slam dunk, I think reasonable minds can differ. So when people act like there was some sort of injustice in following the centuries old and very reasonable constitutionally mandated method of selecting a President, I think its silly.

There are several arguments why an electoral system is better than a popular vote. Putting aside the fact that it is required by the constitution, putting aside the fact that smaller states agreed to form a country, in part based on this method of choosing a president, putting aside the fact that every state agreed to this method of choosing a president when they ratified the constitution or gained admittance to the union; here are a few of the items on the pro side of the argument for the electoral college system:

  1. It ensures that the president gives a shit about states like Wyoming. California alone has more people that the 21 smallest states and the District of Columbia combined. The electoral college means that these states have something to offer a presidential candidate that you wouldn’t be able to get somewhere else.

  2. Clarity. We would know who the president is much earlier and with more clarity with the electoral college in most cases. When there is not an absolute majority in the popular vote, we have to wait until almost all votes are cast, collected and certified before we know who the president is. I can know who wins most states without knowing how every vote was cast because one of the candidates reaches an absolute majority in most states even without looking at provisional ballots and hanging chads and things like that. Then we only have to focus on the election in the really close states to determine where those electoral votes go and in many cases, this issue becomes moot because one of the candidates has achieved the electoral majority without the state that can’t get it’s act together. Florida on 2000 is a notable exception where it worked the other way and the popular vote was clearer than the electoral vote.

  3. It forces candidates to fight for the middle in swing states. If we had a popular vote system, Hillary could have spent all her time in coastal states and Trump could have spent all his time in places like Texas and the Southeast and avoided each other for the most part. They would not have to compete for the middle, they would only have to energize their base. This country seems divided enough without relieving presidential candidates of the burden of trying to win the middle.

  4. It reduces the role of money in elections. A presidential candidate cannot effectively campaign in all 50 states, most of their campaigning in most states will be driven by money and volunteers. Money will become even more important as the value of getting out the vote in San Francisco and Salt Lake City become more important than trying to appeal to voters in the Ohio suburbs.

Sure there are cons to the electoral college and there are pros to the popular vote but like i said, IMHO reasonable minds can differ and I am not opposed to the popular vote I just find it funny when people act like the electoral college somehow stole the election from Hillary. Like there is some natural law saying that the popular vote i better for democracy.

It’s true that there is no explicit Right to Vote in the Constitution. Which is, quite frankly, somewhat surprising given the circumstances in which it was written. The fundamental pillar of the independence movement had been that Americans were unable to vote for representation in Parliament.

My guess is that the authors recognized they were being hypocritical. Many of them must have recognized that while they had fought for their own right to vote, they were denying that same right to slaves and women and other people. So they avoided mentioning the subject rather than establishing a explicit principle they knew they weren’t prepared to live up to.

That said, I think it has been generally recognized that voting is a general right. There have been amendments which granted it to certain groups. And court cases which have established it. So I’d call it a Ninth Amendment right.

I feel the electoral college has the opposite effect of what you’re describing here. The current situation is that presidents don’t care about most states, including California (which is safely Democratic) and Wyoming (which is safely Republican). Presidential candidates only care about swing states like Ohio and Florida or important primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

Throwing out the electoral college would change the math. Republican voters in states like California and Massachusetts and Democratic voters in states like Wyoming and Oklahoma would matter. Because their votes would be added to a national total even if they don’t form a majority in their own state. Candidates in both parties would have to campaign in every state; either to shore up their majority or to grow their minority.

I’m not saying there is no right to vote. I am sayign there is no right for California citizens to have the same weight in their vote as wyoming citizens

The civil war did not reverse or change the notion that states were political entities with sovereignty. As a matter of fact state governments can call for a new constitutional convention which could replace the current constitution.

The Reynolds decision suggests otherwise.

So you feel the hypothetical California gun ban I discussed would be legal. You’re saying that the Constitution only governs what the federal government can do and states as sovereign political entities can enact their own laws.

I’ll grant that there are people who disagree with the incorporation doctrine and would like to see it overturned. But you’re the first person I’ve encountered who argues that federal elections are subject to state sovereignty.

Irae’s post reminds me that we’ve drifted a ways off from the topic of the thread. Would anyone object if I asked a mod to move the posts about the electoral college and constitutional interpretation off into a separate thread?

I didn’t say absolute sovereignty. The constitution and other delegated powers still impose constraints.

You just posted that you feel the states have sovereignty over federal elections. As I pointed out, that’s the highest level of absolute sovereignty I’ve ever seen anyone claim. Assuming you’re standing by that, what areas would you place outside of state sovereignty?

The one person one vote is not applicable here. I understand you would like to apply the principle here because that would be the end of the story but that case is not relevant here. If you like the principle that each vote should have as much influence as any other vote and you want that principle applied to presidential elections, then just get the constitution amended because there is no right for california citizens to have the same weight in their vote as wyoming citizens in presidential elections.

But that’s just back to begging the question; you’re arguing it should be in the Constitution because it is in the Constitution.

The authors of the Constitution rejected that argument. They acknowledged that the Constitution was not a perfect document and made sure to include provisions for revising it.

The Reynolds decision shows that the Supreme Court feels that the principle should be every vote has equal weight. That is explicitly the direction they feel the law should be going in. They apply this in every area where it is possible. The one area where they don’t apply it is in Presidential elections because the procedure for that is explicitly given otherwise in the Constitution. If the Supreme Court thought Section I, Clause 2 was a good principle they would use it as a guideline and apply it elsewhere; but they have explicitly gone in the opposite direction and demonstrated that they consider it a bad principle.

Christ almighty, yes please.

I’m all for abolishing the Electoral College, but this recent trend of saying that everything progressives disapprove of is rooted in slavery isn’t supported by the historical record.

In 1790 Virginia (including Kentucky) was the single most populous state, with over a fifth of the total population of the United States. Not surprisingly, the Virginia Plan for Congress would have had a bicameral legislature, but representation in both houses would have been proportional to population. The New Jersey Plan by contrast would have had each state still having equal representation in the new Congress (as was already the case under the Articles of Confederation). So, the “slave state” wanted the more democratic form of representation in the national legislature, while the “free state” wanted the less democratic form of representation. (And the resulting compromise directly affected the weight the population of each state is given in selecting the President of the United States–the “shape” of the Electoral College is directly derived from that of Congress: “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”.)

The first, fourth, sixth, seventh, eleventh, and thirteenth most populous states were “slave states”, while the second, third, fifth, eighth, ninth, tenth, and twelfth most populous states were “free states”. The average state population of the “slave states” was nearly 321,000, while the average state population of the “free states” was just under 269,000. The issue of “large states” and “small states” simply didn’t map onto the “free state/slave state” divide with any consistency.

(This division into “free states” and “slave states” is to some extent done with the benefit of hindsight when applied to the time of the Constitutional Convention . Most of the original states that would become “free states” hadn’t yet abolished slavery at the time of the Convention. “Free state” New Jersey hadn’t actually fully abolished the last remnants of slavery at the time of the Civil War, although the state was formally committed to abolition by the early 19th century. Maryland and Delaware were “slave states” until the Civil War, but of course neither sought to secede. At the time of the Constitutional Convention nearly a third of the population of Maryland and 15% of the population of Delaware were enslaved; by 1860, although neither state had abolished slavery, the institution was significantly weakened in those states. By that point about as many of the African-American population of Maryland were free as were enslaved, and the proportion of slaves in the state’s population had fallen sharply, to under 13%. In Delaware in 1860 less than 2% of the population were slaves, and there were an order of magnitude more free African-Americans in the state’s population than there were slaves.)


This thread has gone seriously off the rails. I suggest starting a thread on states’ rights and all that in GD.

Closing thread.