Anti-Trump forces are apparently planning an all out legal assault on the Electoral College in a last ditch effort to keep Donald Trump from taking office in the White House. The plan? To file legal action in all 29 states which have laws that prohibit electors from “voting their conscience.” In other words, laws that prevent electors from going against the state’s popular vote.
The inside scoop on what is being planned:
Leaders of the effort, mainly Democrats, have plans to challenge laws in the 29 states that force electors to support their party’s candidate. Those laws have never been tested, leaving some constitutional experts to argue they’re in conflict with the founders’ intention to establish a body that can evaluate the fitness of candidates for office and vote accordingly.
They’d still have to get 37 Republican electors to turn against Trump to have an impact on the election outcome. That’s going to be a tough task especially because there have been few reports that Republican electors are willing to abandon their party to vote against Trump. Sources said they will also have a coalition of lawyers that will be ready to defend (for free) anyone who votes in opposition to their party’s candidate when then the Electoral College meets on December 19.
Last week, Lawrence Lessig, a well-known professor of law at Harvard University and a political activist, penned an opinion piece in The Washington Post encouraging electors to cast their votes for Clinton despite Trump winning more votes in the Electoral College. His theory is that, while it has never been tested like this, the Electoral College is a “safety valve” that is intended “to confirm — or not — the people’s choice.
Other legal scholars believe that if the Electoral College abandons Trump, it may go against the rule of law. “Turning the electors into mighty platonic guardians doesn’t seem to be the right way to go,” UC Irvine Law Professor Rick Hasen wrote in a Friday blog post.
“So yes, I’d love to get rid of the Electoral College,” he wrote. “But not ignore it in an election where everyone agreed it was the set of rules to use.” LawNewz.com will follow this legal effort closely, and update you on this website.