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View Diary: What nobody is addressing about the Electoral Vote-rigging scheme (180 comments)

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  •  I'm not entirely sure (4+ / 0-)

    Art I, Sec 10, cl 3:

    No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.
    •  I don't think it is constitutional (0+ / 0-)

      to require a member of the electoral college to vote in a certain way.

      Yet another way this is not constitutional.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:12:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that's a constitutional issue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, codairem

        But rather an issue of state law. NCSL:

        Some states have passed laws that require their electors to vote as pledged. These laws may either impose a fine on an elector who fails to vote according to the statewide or district popular vote, or may disqualify an elector who violates his or her pledge and provide a replacement elector. None of these laws have been implemented -- no elector has ever been penalized or replaced -- nor have they been fully vetted by the courts. The states with laws that attempt to bind the votes of presidential electors:

        [List Omitted]

        Most of the laws cited above require electors to vote for the candidate of the party that nominated the elector, or require the elector to sign a pledge to do so. Some go further:  Oklahoma and Washington impose a civil penalty of $1,000; in North Carolina, the fine is $500, the faithless elector is deemed to have resigned, and a replacement is appointed. In South Carolina, an elector who violates his or her pledge is subject to criminal penalties, and in New Mexico a violation is a fourth degree felony. In Michigan and Utah, a candidate who fails to vote as required is considered to have resigned, and a replacement is appointed.

    •  I don't know that this is necessarily... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wasatch, caul, codairem

      ...a "compact with another state," though.

      I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that since this was something that was pursued independently in each state, rather than a result of an agreement between the various states to decide to pursue the NPV, it wouldn't fit the definition. The 270-vote threshold is more of a condition than a compact. Maybe it is legally a compact, though.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:22:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Because the NPV doesn't become active without all these states simultaneously agreeing to abide by the collective national vote results. You jump, I'll jump! is a compact.

        •  That's true. There's gotta be a difference (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave in Northridge

          between compact and collusion.

            •  It's a compact. 2 reasons. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adam B

              1. Read the NPV website. It says it's an interstate compact. I presume they know what they're talking about.

              2. The law in each state says it doesn't go into effect until states with a majority of EVs have signed on. Each state's action is contingent on the actions of all the other participating states. I think that makes it a compact.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:40:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Isn't this a moot argument? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Adam B

                As long as Congress approves of the compact? That still means a constitutional amendment would not be necessary.

                •  Would Congress? (0+ / 0-)

                  Wouldn't the smaller states and many Republicans derail it?

                  •  Well, you know (0+ / 0-)

                    Hard to say. They would essentially put themselves out there as opposing the popular vote of the entire nation. Would they really put themselves out there like that, and how long could they keep it up before they get voted out and replaced by someone who won't stand in the way?

                    •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      They'd be supporting their state's continued clout, as well as the partisan interests of the folks who elected them.  The whole nation doesn't vote on their reelection.

                      •  I'm not trying to say it would happen (0+ / 0-)

                        I thought the original argument was whether or not the NPV is a compact, which, you know, so what if it is, that doesn't make it unconstitutional. But in the end, we won't really know unless it gets implemented, because it would probably be up to the Supreme Court.

                        •  And what I'm saying (0+ / 0-)

                          Your prediction about what Congress would do is likely wrong.

                          •  Yeah I can't claim to know otherwise. n/t (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Congress's approval MAYBE NOT required. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            pierre9045, codairem, Cream Puff

                            From, you guessed it, Wikipedia:

                            Possible need for congressional approval

                            It is possible that Congress would have to approve the NPVIC before it could go into effect. Article I, Section 10 of the US Constitution states that

                            No State shall, without the Consent of Congress . . . enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power.
                            The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Virginia v. Tennessee, 148 U.S. 503 (1893), and several more recent cases, that such consent is not necessary except where a compact encroaches on federal supremacy.[41] Every Vote Equal argues that the compact could never encroach upon federal power since the Constitution explicitly gives the power of casting electoral votes to the states, not the federal government. Derek Muller, an opponent of the compact, argues that the NPVIC would nonetheless affect the federal system in such a way that it requires Congressional approval.[42] Regardless, supporters of the NPVIC plan to seek congressional approval if the compact is approved by a sufficient number of states.[43]

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:27:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  The ironic thing about the NPV approach, (0+ / 0-)

                in my humble opinion, and simple lay person's understanding, is that changing to the NPV controlling the outcome, will ultimately hinge on the LAST STATE to enact NPV allocation of their electors.

                As the NPV idea reaches about 200 electoral votes, the real fights will play out at the state level.

                2. The law in each state says it doesn't go into effect until states with a majority of EVs have signed on.
                That will take us right to the same issue we already have - where the ultimate NATIONAL outcome depends on a state level decision, in only a handful of states, or on state level conduct of an election.

                And I think it will mean that all the games for setting aside votes, challenging votes, and provisional balloting, etc. will become HUGE factors in what are now "swing states."

                The NPV movement, in its current form, is just a different all-or-none EC system.  And it means the outcome of the election may not be known for many weeks after the election.

        •  Thank you for an educational example of what, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam B

          exactly, constitutes a compact.

          You jump, I'll jump! is a compact.
    •  Narrowly interpreted (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Demosthenes, HeyMikey, AoT, codairem, MPociask

      I think the "agreement or compact" clause has a very narrow interpretation. States work together on a variety of issues. Case in point: Minnesota students pay in-state tuition rates at the University of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin kids pay in-state tuition at the University of Minnesota. Wisconsin doesn't have this arrangement with any other state; I think Minnesota does with both North and South Dakota. And this has been going on for decades.

      The idea of "I will if you will" on the electoral college issue requires far less interaction between states than does the tuition arrangement between Minnesota and Wisconsin; I can't see how the former could be unconstitutional when the latter isn't.

      The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

      by Korkenzieher on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:08:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't a compact or agreement (0+ / 0-)

      It's simply a state law that is conditional on the laws of other states.

      It'd be as legal as setting the speed limit on a stretch of highway between a city and the state line to whatever it is on the other side of the state line.

    •  One could argue (0+ / 0-)

      that the NPV is not a compact between states in the sense that, say, waving sales taxes for the other state's residents would be.  It's simply a state law designating the electors to vote for the popular vote winner.  Yes, its coming to effect is dependent on what other states do, but there's no exclusive agreement between any particular states involved.  There's an obvious rational basis for the 270 clause and unless enough states pass the laws on their own, nothing would happen.

      Of course, a court challenge is inevitable and the decision will probably get kicked to the Supremes.  Thing is, the disgusting Priebus plan may end up there as well.  Even the Filthy Five would have trouble upholding a blatantly partisan state law while striking down one that clearly isn't.

    •  But --- But (0+ / 0-)

      States make compacts all day long, on water rights, on nuclear waste sites, on jurisdictions, on fishing rights ...

      Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

      by 6412093 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:54:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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