Federal Judge: Electors Must Vote for Statewide Winner in Presidential Election

A federal judge dealt a severe setback Monday to a longshot plan to deny Donald Trump the presidency through the Electoral College, refusing to suspend a Colorado law requiring the state’s nine electors to vote for the presidential candidate who won the state in November.

U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel denied a request by two Colorado electors who contended that the law binding their vote to Colorado vote winner Hillary Clinton violated their First Amendment rights and the intents of the Constitution’s framers. The electors had sought the right to vote for someone other than Clinton in order to unite behind a consensus Republican other than Trump when the Electoral College convenes on Dec. 19.

Daniel found that suspending the Colorado requirement would have harmed the state’s voters and jeopardized a peaceful presidential transition. “Part of me thinks this is really a political stunt to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president,” said Daniel, who was nominated to the bench by Bill Clinton in 1995.

If the Colorado electors had been successful, it could have signaled that similar laws in more than two dozen other states could also be overturned, freeing a large number of electors to defect from Trump. Jason Wesoky, who represents the two electors, said he may seek an emergency appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals – the only chance his clients would have of blocking the Colorado law before they have to cast their votes.

Should the Colorado electors be freed, some of them hoped to persuade enough of their counterparts elsewhere to unite behind a Republican alternative like Mitt Romney. So far only one Republican elector has announced he won’t vote for Trump. The president-elect won 306 electors last month to Clinton’s 232.

An attorney for Trump filed legal papers Monday arguing a suspension of Colorado’s law could have sweeping consequences. “This is very serious stuff,” attorney Christopher Murray, who also represented the Colorado Republican Party, said in court. “If you vote as a free agent in the electoral college, you’re taking Colorado voters’ voices away.”

An attorney for the state noted that Colorado’s ballot only lists the names of presidential contenders, not electors.

Wesoky had argued that voters didn’t choose a president on Nov. 8, only electors who had the right to vote their conscience.

Jerad Sutton, an elector who is not one of the plaintiffs but also wants to vote for someone other than Clinton if it will block a Trump presidency, said he was disappointed with Monday’s result. “If people vote for president, Hillary Clinton would be president,” Sutton said, noting the Democrat won the popular vote. “If you believe this Electoral College exists, those are the people who choose the president.”

3 thoughts on “Federal Judge: Electors Must Vote for Statewide Winner in Presidential Election

  • December 15, 2016 at 2:28 am
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    That may put a stop to the Clinton bunch of crooks that will break any law to put that monster in office. Even if some of electors want to vote for someone other than Clinton Romney was not running in that state Trump was he got the electoral vote fair and square. There is only a few days until the electoral votes are counted the crooks don’t have enough time to try to pull anything else. Lets hope this is the end of all this.

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  • December 15, 2016 at 2:42 am
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    I heard something interesting on Fox today, in Detroit there was found voter fraud when votes were counted they found that in one county there was more votes counted than had registered voters.
    So voter fraud happens a lot more than people suspect. All states need to pass a law that all voters have to show a photo ID before they can vote. That would stop a lot of fraud the old BS that that would stop anyone from voting is just that BS. You have to have a Drivers License or any other legal form of ID to cash a check, board a plane etc.

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  • December 15, 2016 at 5:48 pm
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    This whole deal about electors changing their votes is a massive pile of horse pucky! This whole thing just attempts to legitimize the Left’s attempts to keep voting until you get the results you want! I repeat…..Horse Pucky!

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