How many electors can be stolen from Donald Trump? Harvard Professor Larry Lessig’s group, Electors Trust, claims to have 20 ready to flip on Trump. If they flip their vote, what are the possible and real consequences? Can an ‘unfaithful’ elector be replaced before hand? What does the Constitution say about all this? You are not going to like one of the answers.
As written by Petterrico for Red State:
Larry Lessig, a Harvard University constitutional law professor who made a brief run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, claimed Tuesday that 20 Republican members of the Electoral College are considering voting against Donald Trump, a figure that would put anti-Trump activists more than halfway toward stalling Trump’s election.
Lessig’s anti-Trump group, “Electors Trust,” has been offering pro bono legal counsel to Republican presidential electors considering ditching Trump and has been acting as a clearinghouse for electors to privately communicate their intentions.
I tend to think this is ridiculous — but then, I thought the prospect of electing Donald Trump was ridiculous too. It seems supremely unlikely that this is going to change anything. The GOP whip count says it’s not happening and Lessig is wrong.
Possibly a more interesting question is whether electors can vote for someone other than the person a majority of state voters chose.
I think they can.
Politically, it would be a disaster, and people would reach for their pitchforks and torches. But constitutionally, I think they could do it.
I have not researched the law in this area. But based solely on a reading of the Constitution and on our nation’s history, my tentative view is that electors can vote for whom they want. Article II and the 12th Amendment give the authority to vote for the President to “The Electors.” Any state law that requires them to vote for the person chosen by the majority of the state voters would be an amendment to the Constitution that has not gone through the amendment process, and accordingly would be unconstitutional.
That’s the text. As for the history, keep in mind that there were faithless electors as early as the second election of James Madison.
I’m aware that two Hillary Clinton electors …..
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