Court finds Colorado electors were wrongly forced to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 |

Court finds Colorado electors were wrongly forced to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016

Denver Post
Micheal Baca casts his vote for vice president on his pen box after he was replaced by Celeste Landry of Boulder (on right) as a Colorado member of the Electoral College at the State Capitol on Dec. 19, 2016 in Denver. (Joe Amon, Denver Post)

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that three presidential electors from Colorado were unconstitutionally forced to cast their Electoral College votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The 2-1 opinion from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a victory for so-called “faithless electors,” those who cast an Electoral College vote for a presidential candidate that is not the candidate chosen by a majority of voters in their state.

“Unlike the president’s right to remove subordinate officers under his executive power and duty to take care that the laws and Constitution are faithfully executed, the states have no authority over the electors’ performance of their federal function to select the president and vice president of the United States,” wrote Judge Carolyn McHugh in a lengthy opinion.

The Colorado case involves three Democratic Party electors — Micheal Baca, Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich. After Colorado voted for Clinton in the 2016 race, the three were required under state law to cast their electoral votes for her but wanted to instead vote for John Kasich, a former Republican governor of Ohio, and stop Donald Trump from becoming president.

The scheme was part of a failed national effort to convince Republican electors to vote for Kasich and deny Trump the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become president. The Democratic electors had concerns about foreign interference in the 2016 election aiding Trump.

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