Winner-Take-All Presidential Elector System Deemed Constitutional

February 27, 2020 by Dan McCue
FILE - In this July 9, 2019 file photo, people wait in line to enter the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. On Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, the federal appeals court said the winner-take-all system Texas uses to assign Electoral College presidential votes is constitutional. Wednesday's ruling is the latest defeat for organizations that say each state's electors should be chosen proportionally, based on the percentage of the statewide vote. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

A federal appeals court has declared the winner-take-all system 48 of 50 states use to assign their electoral college votes is constitutional.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the Texas system.

Two similar lawsuits challenging the practice in additional states are pending in other appeals courts.

Domingo Garcia, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, a lead plaintiff in the case, said he expects the issue to wind up at the Supreme Court.

In upholding the current system, the panel cited appellate and Supreme Court decisions going back to the 1960s that have also allowed the policy to stand.

Critics of the system maintain that electors should be allocated proportionally, based on a percentage of the popular vote for each presidential candidate.

The three-judge panel rejected that argument, noting that each citizen in each state is afforded the opportunity to vote and that the winner-take-all system does not deprive anyone of that right.

The panel also rejected other arguments, including the assertion that the winner-take-all system causes national candidates to ignore Texas voters while focusing on swing states, and that it diminishes the incentive of voters whose party or candidate is lagging in state polls to cast a ballot in a presidential race.

In a written statement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “only an amendment to the Constitution can change or eliminate the stable and successful presidential election system designed by our Founders.

“The Electoral College has been in constant use since 1789, and the Constitution clearly allows states to appoint electors as directed by the Legislature,” Paxton continued. “Texas and the 47 other states that selected the winner-take-all method are operating in full compliance with the Constitution. This challenge to the Electoral College system is not just baseless, it threatens to destroy the framework of our election process.”

Political News

COVID-19 Meets the 2020 Election: The Perfect Storm for Misinformation
Social Media
COVID-19 Meets the 2020 Election: The Perfect Storm for Misinformation

SEATTLE — When a mysterious virus began racing around the globe early this year, scientists at the University of Washington’s newly created Center for an Informed Public described it as the perfect storm for bogus information, both innocent and malicious. So what’s the situation six months... Read More

House Proxy Voting Extended Through Mid-August
Health
House Proxy Voting Extended Through Mid-August
June 30, 2020
by Dan McCue

Proxy voting has been extended through mid-August in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday.  House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving, in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician, notified Pelosi that the public health emergency due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic remains ongoing. “I... Read More

Senators Urge McConnell Not To Hold Floor Vote on ‘Partisan’ Fifth Circuit Nominee
Judiciary
Senators Urge McConnell Not To Hold Floor Vote on ‘Partisan’ Fifth Circuit Nominee
June 24, 2020
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – A group of influential Democratic Senators are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deny a confirmation vote of President Donald Trump’s nominee for a vacant United States appeals court seat. The legislators appealed to McConnell in a letter after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved... Read More

Trillions in Stimulus Go Unchecked With Watchdogs Kept Toothless
Congress
Trillions in Stimulus Go Unchecked With Watchdogs Kept Toothless

The U.S. has spent more than half of $3 trillion in economic rescue funds passed by Congress — with little of the oversight intended to ensure the money goes to the right places. Three new oversight bodies are barely functional: A special inspector general was only... Read More

Battle Over Coronavirus Rules, Reopenings Increasingly Partisan, Bitter
Battle Over Coronavirus Rules, Reopenings Increasingly Partisan, Bitter

Urged on by President Donald Trump, Republican officials in several swing states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, are ramping up pressure on Democratic governors to move faster on reopening their economies, despite experts’ warnings of a surge in infections and deaths. The mounting pressure comes as... Read More

Fever-Reading Drones Just First of a Wave of Privacy Challenges, Civil Liberties Advocates Say
Privacy
Fever-Reading Drones Just First of a Wave of Privacy Challenges, Civil Liberties Advocates Say

MIAMI — Last month, police departments in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Connecticut unveiled what was initially touted as a potential new tool against a pandemic: drones capable of taking a person’s temperature from 300 feet in the air. Both agencies quickly backtracked on using the machines... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top