22 Members of California State Senate Haven't Read the Constitution
I have written about this several times before, expressing my concerns over this type of legislation. First and foremost is the fact that this is expressly unconstitutional. Article I, section 10 of the constitution states that no State shall enter into a compact with any other State without Congressional consent. I know of no such congressional consent, to date.
Yet, constitutionality aside, this is a bad direction for the country, and represents the willingness of California's Democrats to sacrifice State powers in favor of federalization. The Electoral College provides a crucial balance between the popular vote and the interests of each State. The electors reflect the popular vote, but also provides a means to take the interests of individual States into account--much the same way the Congress combines popular will (the House) and State will (the Senate).
Senator Migden, who authored the bill, stated in a press release that
It is astounding to me that the world’s greatest democracy does not directly elect the President by a vote of the people. A national popular vote for President will, for the first time, make every vote equal. A vote in California will be as sought after as a vote in Ohio or Florida. That is not currently the case.Of course, we are not a democracy, rather a constitutional republic. We do not directly vote on every bill, we elect people to vote for us. Thus, a popular vote would be inconsistent with the rest of our government. Furthermore, our votes are never equal. Wyoming has about 1/70th the population of California, yet has the same number of Senators. According to the logic of Democrats in the California Senate, we should also do away with the United States Senate (and the California Senate, for that matter).
I will admit that many people do not understand why we have an electoral college, so the prospect of a popular vote may be appealing. I would, however, expect a better understanding from a State Senator. It is my opinion that each State maintain a certain level of sovereignty and autonomy. The trend to federalize every issue has eroded this view from people's minds. People now consider States little more than regions within the country. Yet, each State represents a unique entity, responsible for self-government. These 50 States are bound together to form the United States.
From the most fundamental levels, this is bad legislation. Unfortunately, virtually every Senate Democrat is willing to support this, against the constitution, against the interests of the States, and against common sense.
Cross Posted at