Supreme Court: States can bind Electoral College voters

Supreme Court: States can bind Electoral College voters
Supreme Court: States can bind Electoral College voters

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that states have the power to force electors to cast votes in the Electoral College which follow the choice of their state's balloting in the race for President.

"A State may enforce an elector’s pledge to support his party’s nominee — and the state voters’ choice — for President," wrote Justice Elena Kagan for the united Court, leaving in place laws in 32 states which require Electoral College electors to reflect the vote in their states.

"It reflects a longstanding tradition in which electors are not free agents; they are to vote for the candidate whom the State’s voters have chosen," the Court held.

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"We the People rule," Kagan wrote.

The ruling, coming less than four months before the November 2020 elections, addresses one of the possible outcomes of a tight election, where 'rogue electors' could break from their state's choice, and decide to elect another candidate.

The Justices heard two cases in this term related to the Electoral College, ruling today on one from Washington State, and then formally disposing of a second from Colorado.

"The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is reversed for the reasons stated in Chiafalo v. Washington," the Court wrote in a Per Curiam opinion.