In an apparent attempt at an end-run around the Constitution, the Colorado legislature is currently considering linking their electoral votes to the national popular vote for President of the United States. The State Senate passed SB 19-042 on January 29, 2019, by a vote of 19-16 almost exactly along party lines with one Republican defection. On February 12, the measure was voted out of committee to the State House as a whole for consideration.
Why It Came About
The Electoral College was established by the Founding Fathers in Article 2, Section 1 of the United States Constitution. This was a compromise by the Constitutional Convention because the members feared the chaos that would ensue if a nationwide popular vote method were adopted. The smaller states were concerned that their voters would be disenfranchised and their concerns dismissed because even a regional bloc of states’ votes could be overwhelmed by a single larger state.
Colorado would join the eleven states and the District of Columbia onboarding the so-called “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.” This would compel a state to cast its electoral votes for the overall vote-getter regardless of how the citizens of the state actually voted. This flies in the face of the intentions of the Founding Fathers and the document they wrote, and each state has sworn to honor that little piece of parchment known the world-over as The Constitution of the United States of America. It sounds like proponents of this measure want to rename our country the “Peoples’” Republic of the United States of America. We’ve seen throughout history how a move like that works out in reality.
Clear and Present Danger
Given the way the Progressive Liberals and now even self-proclaimed Socialists in Congress have been acting since President Trump took office in 2017, it’s a real possibility this movement could gain strong support in the bluer states. If they manage to garner enough states so that they carry 270 electoral votes we could be facing a Constitutional crisis for the 2020 election. It’s almost a certainty several lawsuits will be filed in Federal courts across the country and that will lead to conflicting rulings.
For example, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals may rule in favor of the measure, while the 6th Circuit might strike it down. That could lead to massive confusion when it comes to states declaring which slate of candidates they certify leaving it all in the hands of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). It regularly takes years before SCOTUS agrees to hear a case and render a decision. The current court has shown little interest in moving cases along quickly… as we’ve seen with Obamacare and limits on entry to our country for people from some Islamist countries. That could leave us with doubt on the legitimacy of the presidency, regardless of who wins.
It’s clear the country has reached an important tipping point. Future generations will look back upon this as the time where the decisions made today decide how America, the whole world perhaps, lives her life. It may be a bit of hyperbole to say these times will determine if we remain as the beacon of hope the world sees now or if we will follow the failed ideologies of countries now resting in the dustbin of history. And maybe it isn’t.