The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a massive ruling on Monday that is nothing short of a major victory for those who support the Electoral College.
On Monday, the Court delivered a unanimous decision that states can legally punish “faithless” electors — those who formally cast the votes for president of the United States but go against the majority of their state.
The unanimous 9-0 decision is a victory for states that feared allowing rogue electors could disrupt future elections.
In the case of Chiafalo v. Washington, four faithless electors from Colorado and Washington state who voted against their states in the 2016 presidential election challenged fines levied by the states, arguing that they cannot dictate how they vote.
The Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision last year by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
“A state follows in the same tradition if, like Washington, it chooses to sanction an elector for breaching his promise. Then too, the state instructs its electors that they have no ground for reversing the vote of millions of its citizens,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the court’s ruling.
“That direction accords with the Constitution — as well as with the trust of a Nation that here, We the People rule,” Kagan added.
Why is this a big deal?
All nine justices of the Supreme Court — four of them being liberals — agreed that the Electoral College is an important part of our constitutional structure that does not take away power and rights from individual states.
As an example, say your state voted for “candidate A” and elected him to be president.
Then, say the “elector” from your state breaks their promise and votes for presidential candidate B or C, or some other person who wasn’t even on the ballot.
Can states remove that “faithless elector” and punish them for going against the will of the people in that state?
That’s the question the Supreme Court addressed in this ruling and the answer to all of the above is “yes.”
Beyond this, the Supreme Court has been very busy lately.
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the president has the legal authority to fire the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) without cause.
Before that, the Supreme Court has issued a ruling against a George Soros-backed group, Open Society International, which was seeking funding from the United States to battle AIDS/HIV around the world.
According to a law from 2003, no organization can receive funding that does not have a policy “explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.”
As it turns out, OSI does not have such a policy. It appears that the Soros-backed group was unwilling to adopt such a policy and sued the government over free speech grounds.
The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a coalition of environmental groups that claimed Trump’s construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was damaging and destroying the environment.
Radio host Hugh Hewitt also revealed last week that a conservative Supreme Court Justice may be seriously considering stepping down.