Saturday, December 17, 2016

WHAT CRITERIA ARE THE ELECTORS AT THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE EXPECTED TO USE?

- - - - - Part Three in a series - - - - -

Have you noticed the Trumpists carrying on for the last five weeks like it's New Year's Eve, July Fourth, and their own birthdays, all rolled into one non-stop celebration? The way they figure it, the final score was announced during the wee hours of November 9, when the preliminary vote totals were announced after the traditional "speed-count" on Election Night.

Not so fast, Trump-lovers! The Electoral College is the group that actually picks the President in the United States. Many of us would like to see this piece of the American Constitutional process eliminated, but it's still in effect right now. There is still a chance that a candidate other than Trump may be selected on Monday, December 19.

We have shown that the Electoral College is not just a "rubber-stamp". We have demonstrated that the Electors at the EC are mandated to exercise free speech and/or free will when they cast their votes. In this article, we will examine the criteria they are authorized to use in order to make their decisions.

Way back in November, Michael Signer wrote in Time Magazine that the "founding fathers" wanted to prevent somebody just like Trump from ever taking office. His view, along with millions of other Americans, is that Trump is a Demagogue:
"For that reason, the Electoral College was designed to prevent a demagogue from becoming president. It serves two purposes. One of them is to give small states power as well as big states and the cities. The other is to provide a mechanism where intelligent, thoughtful and statesmanlike leaders could deliberate on the winner of the popular vote and, if necessary, choose another candidate who would not put Constitutional values and practices at risk."
A designated Elector in Texas has made national news out of his pledge - - - and his explanation - - - of why he will not be voting for Trump on Monday. That's despite the fact that Trump carried his home state of Texas on November 8. Christopher Suprun has explained very clearly how he studied the legal basis for his role, and how he concluded that Trump was not an allowable choice for him to make:

It's easy to tell that Suprun has done his homework.
"Alexander Hamilton provided a blueprint for states’ votes," Suprun writes. "Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence. Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him."
- Christopher Suprun 
In short, Suprun observes three disqualifying features of candidate Trump:
  1. He is unfit for office.
  2. He is a demagogue.
  3. He has foreign financial entanglements.
The reasoning described by Suprun is elucidated in a full-page advertisement appearing last week in several major newspapers, and signed by dozens of professors and legal experts, including Laurence Tribe. A large group of lawyers has also pledged to defend any so-called "faithless electors" should they be challenged after the fact.

A lawyer named R.J. Lyman has been working behind the scenes to explain the law to Electors, as described in this article appearing in USA Today. Lyman is obviously using the criteria laid out by Alexander Hamilton in his Federalist Paper #68:
This is reflected in his later fears about the types of people who could potentially become president. He worries that corrupted individuals could, particularly those who are either more directly associated with a foreign state, or individuals who do not have the capacity to run the country. The former is covered by Article II, Section 1, v of the United States Constitution, while the latter is covered by Hamilton in Federalist 68, where he notes that the person who will become president will have to be a person who possesses the faculties necessary to be a president, stating that:
"Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States."
- Alexander Hamilton
Federalist Paper #68 

It now appears to be clear that IF the Electors follow the law, and IF they can tell that Trump is either unfit for office, demagogic, or financially tied-in with foreign governments - - - ALL OF WHICH ARE TRUE - - - then they will cast their votes for somebody other than Trump on Monday.




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