A member of the Electoral College representing California filed a lawsuit on Friday against state officials, seeking to overturn a state law requiring all 55 electors from the state to support the winner of the statewide vote.
The plaintiff is Vinzenz J. Koller, chair of the Monterey County Democratic Party, Politico notes. Though theoretically Koller would like to see Hillary Clinton win the presidency, his lawsuit seeks relief from having to vote for her in the Electoral College on December 19.
The hope is to overturn similar laws in other states, in order to free enough reluctant Donald Trump electors to deny the Republican nominee the presidency.
“Plaintiff seeks the protection to act as a Presidential Elector not merely by placing a ceremonial vote, but as part of a deliberative body, placing a vote that is most likely to ensure that only a person with the adequate qualifications for office be voted in as President of the United States,” the lawsuit states.
“Plaintiff here, is joining the path of other electors in the States of Colorado and Washington seeking relief from state statutes that interfere with their right to act as a deliberative body and, if appropriate under the circumstances, place their votes in the best interest of the country, even if they might not be their party’s candidate.”
Thus far, Politico notes, ten electors have challenged the current system, including nine Democrats and one Republican. They call themselves the “Hamilton” electors, referring to Alexander Hamilton’s argument in Federalist No. 68 that the Electoral College would be a special, elite deliberative body: “A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”
There are also efforts to encourage “faithless electors” — electors who refuse to vote for their state’s choice. Only one faithless elector has emerged thus far, in Texas, where state law does not mandate that electors vote for the overall winner in the state.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.