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Graduate of the University of Oregon, Married for 4-1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. I am currently residing in Cleveland while I attend med school.

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    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    California Legislature disregards Constitution

    With the passage of AB2948 in May, written by Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D) Santa Ana, the California Legislature has agreed to join an interstate compact that would allocate all of it's 55 electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote. This is, of course, in large part a response to the outrage that many Democrats felt following the 2000 election.

    Considering that Article I section 10 of the Constitution expressly forbids "interstate compacts", the bill will likely be found unconstitutional, even if Gov. Schwarzenegger decides to affix his signature to it. Yet, constitutionality aside, this Bill, apparently, represents Assemblyman Umberg's failure to understand the importance of the Electoral College. As I stated in April, before passage of the bill:
    "It's an effort to make California relevant again in presidential elections," Umberg said, clearly unaware of the influence California's 55 Electoral votes have when it comes to Presidential elections, and clearly disregarding the fact that California's interests, as determined by state election results would be superceded by national voting outcomes. This should be obvious, considering the goals of AB2948, so I can only assume that Assemblyman Umberg is being misleading in his statements.

    I add that if he is not being intentionally misleading, he is simply unable to grasp the reasons why we do not utilize a simple popular vote. The Electoral college is an integral component in balancing popular opinion with the specific interests of each state.

    While I often disagree with legislation and opinions of Democrats in the California State Legislature, with this Bill I am simply disappointed to have a representative with such disregard for the constitution.

    I urge Governor Schwarzenegger to veto this bill.

    Cross Posted at

    4 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Actually, interstate compacts are entirely legal and constitutional. Some need the "consent" of Congress, but the Supreme Court has limited those to any that infringe on federal powers. Article II lets states award electoral votes any way they want, so there's no infringement on federal power. Ergo, not unconstitutional. See Virginia v. Tennessee, for one.

    As for the Electoral College "protecting the specific interests of each state," that's simply no longer true in any way. When 2/3 of all states are ENTIRELY IGNORED in presidential elections because they're safe for one party or the other, no interests of the state -- or the voters who live there -- is given ANY consideration at all.

    2:19 PM  
    Blogger MikeZ said...

    How does anonymous reconcile the clear language of Art 1 Sect 10 with the claim that they're "entirely legal"?

    Art II is followed by Amendments 12, 20, and 25.

    7:49 PM  
    Blogger T.L. Stanley said...

    Good post. Interesting topic. Electorial College was quite a place at one time. Because, the electrorial votes were important. Today, I am not quite sure. It seems to me that if California gives its votes to the candidate that wins the popular vote, this may even help the Repubicans.

    Just imagine what would happen if the Republican loses the electrical college vote by a small margin but wins the popular vote. Then, California would go from the Democrat to the Republican. The Republicans would be president. Of course this could work the same way for both parties.

    10:56 AM  
    Blogger T.L. Stanley said...

    Good post. Interesting topic. Electorial College was quite a place at one time. Because, the electrorial votes were important. Today, I am not quite sure. It seems to me that if California gives its votes to the candidate that wins the popular vote, this may even help the Repubicans.

    Just imagine what would happen if the Republican loses the electrical college vote by a small margin but wins the popular vote. Then, California would go from the Democrat to the Republican. The Republican would be president. Of course this could work the same way for both parties.

    10:58 AM  

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