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View Diary: John Nichols unearths yet another Republican-backed Electoral College-rigging push (116 comments)

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  •  You can run an end run around the 'constitutional (14+ / 0-)

    amendment' requirement by agreeing to the National Popular Vote Compact, which if agreed to by states which comprise 270 or more Electoral Votes, would trigger the Compact's objectives.  

    The Compact goes into effect if adopted by states with 270 or more EV.  Currently states with 132 EV have signed on.

    The down side is that if, only 270 sign on, or a number near that, and one state pulls out and the number falls below 270, then Compact would fall apart.

    There should be language in the compact's laws which says that it can not be changed within 6 months or 1 year of a national presidential election.

    •  Withdrawal is Not Possible Jul 20-Jan 20 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dragonlady, Yosef 52, shenderson

      The National Popular Vote bill says: "Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a withdrawal occurring six months or less before the end of a President’s term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President shall have been qualified to serve the next term."

      This six-month “blackout” period includes six important events relating to presidential elections, namely the
      ● national nominating conventions,
      ● fall general election campaign period,
      ● Election Day on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November,
      ● meeting of the Electoral College on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December,
      ● counting of the electoral votes by Congress on January 6, and
      ● scheduled inauguration of the President and Vice President for the new term on January 20.

      Any attempt by a state to pull out of the compact in violation of its terms would violate the Impairments Clause of the U.S. Constitution and would be void.  Such an attempt would also violate existing federal law.  Compliance would be enforced by Federal court action

      The National Popular Vote compact is, first of all, a state law. It is a state law that would govern the manner of choosing presidential electors. A Secretary of State may not ignore or override the National Popular Vote law any more than he or she may ignore or override the winner-take-all method that is currently the law in 48 states.

      There has never been a court decision allowing a state to withdraw from an interstate compact without following the procedure for withdrawal specified by the compact. Indeed, courts have consistently rebuffed the occasional (sometimes creative) attempts by states to evade their obligations under interstate compacts.

      In 1976, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland stated in Hellmuth and Associates v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority:

      “When enacted, a compact constitutes not only law, but a contract which may not be amended, modified, or otherwise altered without the consent of all parties.”

      In 1999, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania stated in Aveline v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole:
      “A compact takes precedence over the subsequent statutes of signatory states and, as such, a state may not unilaterally nullify, revoke, or amend one of its compacts if the compact does not so provide.”

      In 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court very succinctly addressed the issue in Petty v. Tennessee-Missouri Bridge Commission:
      “A compact is, after all, a contract.”

      The important point is that an interstate compact is not a mere “handshake” agreement. If a state wants to rely on the goodwill and graciousness of other states to follow certain policies, it can simply enact its own state law and hope that other states decide to act in an identical manner. If a state wants a legally binding and enforceable mechanism by which it agrees to undertake certain specified actions only if other states agree to take other specified actions, it enters into an interstate compact.

      Interstate compacts are supported by over two centuries of settled law guaranteeing enforceability. Interstate compacts exist because the states are sovereign. If there were no Compacts Clause in the U.S. Constitution, a state would have no way to enter into a legally binding contract with another state. The Compacts Clause, supported by the Impairments Clause, provides a way for a state to enter into a contract with other states and be assured of the enforceability of the obligations undertaken by its sister states. The enforceability of interstate compacts under the Impairments Clause is precisely the reason why sovereign states enter into interstate compacts. Without the Compacts Clause and the Impairments Clause, any contractual agreement among the states would be, in fact, no more than a handshake.

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