DENVER (CBS4) – Nearly two-dozen states have joined Colorado’s request for the nation’s highest court to review the “faithless electors” case. On Wednesday, 22 states signed an amicus brief in support of Colorado’s petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to review August v. Colorado Department of State.
The 10th Circuit ruled that Colorado cannot remove presidential electors if they cast their Electoral College ballots for a candidate who did not win the most votes in the state. Colorado law requires the electors to cast their ballots in accordance with the majority vote.
In 2016, the Colorado Secretary of State replaced Michael Baca as a state presidential elector after he failed to vote for Hillary Clinton as he had pledged. The non-profit Equal Citizens launched a legal challenge, arguing that the framers of the Constitution intended for presidential electors to exercise independent judgement in casting their votes.
In a 2-1 vote, the Tenth Circuit ruled that the removal of an elector for voting for someone other than the winner of the statewide popular vote was unconstitutional under the 12th amendment.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Attorney General Phil Weiser have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The Colorado Secretary of State’s office said the ruling impedes the state’s ability to enforce the law and has the potential to undermine voters across the nation.
In filing the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, Secretary Jena Griswold said the 10th Circuit’s decision, if upheld, “sets a dangerous precedent for our nation. Unelected and unaccountable presidential electors should not be allowed to decide the presidential election without regard to voters’ choices and state law.”
The states that signed onto the brief request are Alaska, California, Illinois, Mississippi, Maryland, Nevada, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Tennessee, and Rhode Island.
“Having twenty-two states support our petition to the U.S. Supreme Court underlines the urgency of this matter. When Americans vote in the presidential election, we are exercising our most fundamental right – the right to self-governance and self-determination. We have to preserve that right. Without swift action by the Supreme Court, the foundation of our democracy is at risk,” said Griswold.