The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear Colorado’s appeal of a federal court ruling that allows presidential electors to ignore the will of the people and back whichever candidate they want.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold last October petitioned the court to hear the case, hoping to avoid potential legal and political chaos come November. Griswold has said the outcome affects “the very foundation of our nation.”
Weiser praised the Supreme Court’s decision, saying the case is “ripe for review” and that he’s hopeful the panel will rule in Colorado’s favor and not fundamentally alter the Electoral College, the U.S. system of electing presidents.
The situation dates back to 2016, when then-Secretary of State Wayne Williams removed a presidential elector who refused to vote for Hilary Clinton — even though Clinton won the popular vote in Colorado. In August, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Denver, ruled that the removal of the elector, Micheal Baca, was unconstitutional.
Baca, one of Colorado’s nine electoral voters, tried to cast his ballot for then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, instead of Clinton as part of an attempt by a handful electors across the country to block Republican Donald Trump from becoming president. But the 10th Circuit found that Colorado didn’t have authority to remove Baca as an elector, eliminating the state’s ability to bind electors to follow the will of Colorado voters.
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