Dear Electoral College

December 14, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

AFP photo

 

By

Cynthia M. Lardner

Dear Electoral College:

Each of you is imbued with the moral and legal obligation to uphold the United States Constitution. You are not legally bound by the 2016 presumptive presidential election results in favor of Donald Trump over popular vote winner Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton. There exists a legal foundation for you to vote your conscience, even if that means changing your vote or not voting consistent with a winner take all state’s results.

 

In Ray v. Blair, 343 U.S. 214, 223 (1952) (footnote omitted), a case addressing pledged electoral votes in a primary election only, the Supreme Court, in dictum, stated:

“We appreciate the argument that from time immemorial, the electors selected to vote in the college have voted in accordance with the wishes of the party to which they belong. But in doing so, the effective compulsion has been party loyalty. That theory has generally been taken for granted, so that the voting for a president and vice-president has been usually formal merely. But the Twelfth Amendment does not make it so. The nominees of the party for president and vice-president may have become disqualified, or peculiarly offensive not only to the electors, but their constituents also. They should be free to vote for another, as contemplated by the Twelfth Amendment.” (Emphasis Added)

 

In The Federalist Papers: No. 68, Alexander Hamilton, penned these noble words:

“The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. 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. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says: “For forms of government let fools contest That which is best administered is best,” yet we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.”

 

You are obligated to follow the wisdom expressed by Mr. Hamilton in selecting the 45th President of the United States as The Federalist Papers have been upheld by the United States Supreme Court as being a valid document for interpreting our Constitution. The earliest decision was McCulloch v. Maryland decided in 1819. Chief Justice John Marshall, speaking for the court, held that, “…the opinions expressed by the authors of that work have been justly supposed to be entitled to great respect in expounding the Constitution. No tribute can be paid to them which exceeds their merit; but in applying their opinions to the cases which may arise in the progress of our government, a right to judge of their correctness must be retained.”

Article 6, Clause II, the Supremacy Clause, provides for the priority of federal authority, especially when that authority is based on the United States Constitution. Thus, while individual states may enact legislation governing how you are selected and voting in the primaries, it may not legislate how you vote on December 19th. Any legislation requiring you to breach your Constitutional duty, upon judicial challenge, must be found invalid based on existing precedent.

It is, therefore, your test to elect a president who is of pre-eminent ability and possesses the virtue capable of leading a good administration regardless of what your state legislation provides.

In closing, I implore to discharge your responsibility as an Elector in full compliance with our Constitution and wisdom of our founding fathers.

 

 

Sincerely,

Cynthia Lardner, MA, JD

 

Cc: Paul Ryan

Nancy Pelosi

Elizabeth Warren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The author with United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the inauguration of the new ICC complex on April 19, 2016

Cynthia M. Lardner

Cynthia M. Lardner is an American journalist living in The Hague writing about geopolitics for Tuck Magazine and E – The Magazine for Today’s Executive Female Executive. Her blogs are read in over 37 countries. As a thought leader in the area of foreign policy, her philosophy is to collectively influence conscious global thinking. Ms. Lardner holds degrees in journalism, law, and counseling psychology.

1 Comment

  1. Kumarathasan Rasingam December 14, at 15:22

    I am unable to understand what the constitution says: I understand whoever wins the highest electoral votes in states will be elected as President: This I understand happened to Mr. Al Gore who won highest popular vote lost his presidency because he could not get enough electoral votes as stipulated in the constitution.

    Reply

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