Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Colorado, etc

So now it seems that Colorado is looking to change its electoral vote system. I don't really know what to make of this. It would certainly benefit John Kerry's campaign, but its constitutional legitimacy appears to be in question. I would like our legal expert to comment on this.

I also encourage our readers to check out this article in The Onion. I especially like the line "During his term in office, George Bush has relentlessly continued to be president-despite the clear benefits to America his absence would bring to the lives of citizens everywhere." Great political satire (although Kerry has not really attacked Bush all that much recently)

I'm working on a post about French politics, but in the meantime I'm enjoying watching the Olympics here. I'm getting to see sports that I don't often see in the US (like fencing and judo) and they actually show the sports here, instead of fluff! How nice!

6 comments:

Raised By Republicans said...

Colorado is considering (through a referendum) allocating its electoral votes proportionally. This will benefit who ever comes in second in the popular vote in that state. That will probably be Kerry but the polls show it is fairly close so it could be Bush that benefits.

This is the kind of thing that I think is appropriate to handle through referenda. Deciding what the exact tax rate should be or what drugs have medical value should not be decided by referenda, in my opinion.

If Colorado does this, they will probably get less attention from the Presidential candidates because the stakes will drop dramatically in that state.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The only thing worse than a "winner-take all" electoral college system, where the winner in each state gets all the state's EVs, is where the EV formula is different for each state. Colorado's proposal, if universally adopted, would make the electoral college more democratic in some respects, but worse in others. Right now, the over-weighting of small states is somewhat offset by the fact that big state prizes attract candidate attention, as do "swing" states. In a world where all states have Colorado's system, what you'd see is simply that small states (3 EVs) are overweighted for no good reason at all.

Bell Curve said...

Okay, but what about its legality? Can this thing be decided by referendum or does it have to be the legislature? Have there been any other similar supreme court rulings?

The Law Talking Guy said...

It is perfectly okay for a state to change its method of selecting electors. It is also okay for a legislature to refer this matter to the people for a referendum. The issue that remains is whether a state constitution can, by itself, give the citizens a right to determine how to select electors. This is an argument that I have almost written a whole article on -- suffice it to say that the Scalia position is "no," but that is based on the faulty reasoning of Dred Scott, not the proper theory of federalism. I will not fill pages with it here, except in thumbnail form. The Scalia position is that Article I gives a state legislature "plenary power" to select electors, even if that is contrary to the state constitution which would give the citizens an absolute right to decide this via election. This reading is without merit. A state legislature is a creature of its own constitution, and cannot have powers beyond it; those powers reside in the people ultimately.

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