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By Robert A. Vella

Late on Tuesday, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that shocked legal scholars and democracy proponents across the nation.  The decision clearly asserts that electors selected by the six states within its jurisdiction (Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, end Wyoming) for the Electoral College (used in U.S. presidential elections) are free to vote any way they choose regardless of the popular vote result in their state or how their respective political parties want them to vote.  Let that settle in for a moment, dear readers.  As undemocratic as the Electoral College is, this ruling eviscerates the very foundation of a representative democracy – i.e. that the people elect their representatives in government under the principle of one person, one vote.  If the 10th Circuit’s decision is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, then the national popular vote could become completely superfluous and presidents would be elected by just 538 individuals under no constraints whatsoever.  Politicians like Donald Trump, who use bribery and intimidation tactics to acquire wealth and power, must be licking their chops right now.

It is unclear how this ruling might affect the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact movement which is attempting to circumvent the inherently undemocratic Electoral College.  Here is the constitutional basis for the NPVIC from Wikipedia:

The compact would modify the way participating states implement Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which requires each state legislature to define a method to appoint its electors to vote in the Electoral College. The Constitution does not mandate any particular legislative scheme for selecting electors, and instead vests state legislatures with the exclusive power to choose how to allocate their states’ electors (although systems that violate the 14th Amendment, which mandates equal protection of law and prohibits racial discrimination, would be prohibited).

Meanwhile, the growing international backlash against President Trump’s raging megalomania is breaking down diplomatic relations and U.S. cooperation with foreign countries to the point where world leaders are expressing grave concern and are taking unusual steps to disengage from his increasingly isolated administration.  As the president becomes more and more frustrated with political realities which contradict his insular views of himself as a leader, his demented ego is running so amok that he is now openly equating himself to a king and to a messiah.

A dangerous precedent

From:  Faithless elector: A court ruling just changed how we pick our president

“This issue could be a ticking time bomb in our divided politics. It’s not hard to imagine how a single faithless elector, voting differently than his or her state did, could swing a close presidential election,” said Mark Murray, NBC News senior political editor.

It hasn’t been much of an issue in American political history because when an elector refuses to follow the results of a state’s popular vote, the state simply throws the ballot away. But Tuesday’s ruling says states cannot do that.

[…]

A total of 30 states have laws that bind electors, requiring them to cast their votes for whichever candidate won that state’s popular vote. But the laws are weak, providing only nominal penalties for what are known as “faithless electors” who fail to conform to the popular vote.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1952 that states do not violate the Constitution when they require electors to pledge that they will abide by the popular vote. But the justices have never said whether it is constitutional to enforce those pledges.

“This court decision takes power from Colorado voters and sets a dangerous precedent,” said Jena Griswold, Colorado’s secretary of state. “Our nation stands on the principle of one person, one vote. We are reviewing this decision with our attorneys, and will vigorously protect Colorado voters.”

The federal court ruling conflicts with a decision from Washington state’s Supreme Court in May, which said electors must follow the results of the popular vote. “The power of electors to vote comes from the state, and the elector has no personal right to that role,” the court said.

A deep crisis in democracy

From:  G-7 summit set to end without an agreement for the first time in history

The Group of Seven (G-7) summit is set to end without a joint communique for the first time in its 44-year history, after French President Emmanuel Macron decided to abandon the tradition citing “a very deep crisis of democracy.”

It will be the first time since meetings began in 1975 that the forum has failed to end a summit without an agreed statement, laying bare the deepening rift between heads of state from seven of the world’s largest economies.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the G-7 meeting at a news conference in Paris on Wednesday, Macron said an attempt to produce a joint communique would most likely be a “pointless” exercise.

From:  Iceland’s leader won’t be around to welcome Pence

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland’s leader has announced that she will skip U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to her Nordic nation, opting instead to keep “prior commitments” by attending a trade union conference and meetings in Sweden.

[…]

“This is unprecedented for an Icelandic prime minister,” historian Thor Whitehead told The Associated Press. “I doubt any other Western leader would decide to address a friendly conference abroad instead of welcoming a major foreign ally.”

Trump’s megalomania is running amok

From:  Trump, frustrated by unpopularity with Jews, thrusts Israel into his culture war

President Trump decided long ago that it would be smart politics for him to yoke his administration to Israel and to try to brand the Democratic Party as anti-Semitic.

He set about executing a pro-Israel checklist: moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the Golan Heights as part of sovereign Israel, and taking a hard line against Iran. And he promoted himself as the greatest president — a deity even — for Jewish people.

Yet Trump has become flummoxed that Jewish Americans are not in turn lining up to support his reelection, according to people familiar with his thinking, and he has lashed out in predictable fashion.

[…]

Still, Trump tweeted a quote early Wednesday from Wayne Allyn Root, a noted conspiracy theorist and conservative radio host in Nevada, who praised Trump on Newsmax and lamented that a majority of Jews vote for Democrats.

“President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America … He’s like the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God,” Trump quoted Root as saying.

Jews do not believe in a second coming.

From:  ‘I am the Chosen One,’ Trump proclaims as he defends trade war with China

President Donald Trump on Wednesday declared himself “the chosen one” as he defended his administration’s actions in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

Other news

From:  Trump says he is seriously looking at ending birthright citizenship

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that his administration was seriously looking at ending the right of citizenship for U.S.-born children of noncitizens and people who immigrated to the United States illegally.

[…]

The Republican president had told Axios news website in October 2018 that he would end “birthright citizenship” through an executive order. Experts have said such a move would run afoul of the U.S. Constitution.

[…]

The Constitution’s 14th Amendment, passed after the Civil War to ensure that black Americans had full citizenship rights, granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”

From:  Indictments of workers mount, but no employers charged after Mississippi immigration raids

As federal indictments stack up against dozens of undocumented immigrants rounded up in workplace raids in Mississippi, no charges have been filed against employers who immigration officials believe knowingly hired them, according to online court documents.

Indonesia shuts internet in Papua over unrest fears

19 thoughts on “A dangerous precedent, a deep crisis in democracy, and Trump’s megalomania is running amok

  1. Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming should not be counted then.

    I see a bright side, though. If challenged (which i’m guessing it will be), could this be the case that SCOTUS rules on which then leads to the abandonment of the Electoral College forever?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In Hongkong a million and more people are going on the streets in order to safeguard their rights and freedom. And in the USA nothing like that. I do not understand why people are accepting seemingly an undesired “fate” while hoping that certain court decisions in the future might improve and change the ugly precedings of today. The malicious Wall of Berlin would definitely not have fallen with such an attitude. All the best!

    Liked by 2 people

    • We are a passive, “I ain’t got time to be bothered” type of country. Only half of those who can in America even vote. Our apathy and passivity toward what’s happening in the government has already, IMO, sealed our fate. We are now seeing the decline of America into a fractured autocracy from which we will never fully recover.

      Liked by 3 people

        • Excerpt from today’s upcoming post:

          Justice Department says it mistakenly emailed link to white nationalist website

          The Justice Department on Thursday said an email sent to immigration court employees this week should not have included a link to a white nationalist website.

          The email, which included links to daily stories involving immigration news, included a link to a blog post on VDare, a white nationalist site, Buzzfeed News reported.

          The blog post “directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs,” the immigration judges’ union complained in a letter to DOJ that was obtained by Buzzfeed. “Publication and dissemination of a white supremacist, anti-Semitic website throughout the EOIR is antithetical to the goals and ideals of the Department of Justice,” the letter said.

          Marysville should be as white ‘as possible,’ says candidate in the Michigan city

          MARYSVILLE, Mich. — A city council candidate in Michigan shocked a public forum when she said she wants to keep “Marysville a white community as much as possible.”

          Jean Cramer made the comment Thursday in response to a question about diversity in Marysville, a city in St. Clair County, 55 miles (88 kilometers) northeast of Detroit. The Times Herald in Port Huron says she’s one of five candidates running for three council seats in November.

          After the forum, Cramer told the newspaper that she’s not “against blacks” but believes married couples “need to be the same race.”

          FBI investigates racist post at Sacramento County school

          A racist post sent to students at a Sacramento County high school is under investigation by the FBI and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, officials said.

          Students at Rio Americano High School were air-dropped an image that looked like a policy posted on the school’s website banned black students.

          The photo used derogatory and racist language while claiming the KKK will be patrolling the hallways. A parent shared the photo, which was sent to her child, with KCRA 3.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Very true, Ulli. America is tearing itself apart culturally and politically. On one side is the fascist right-wing pushing hard to destroy democracy and egalitarianism and to “cleanse” the country of ethnic and religious diversity. On the other side is the activist left-wing which is bravely trying to defend these principles sometimes at great personal cost. Stuck in the middle is the cowardly center who care not for these principles and who instead care only for their own individual circumstances and sensibilities. Eventually they will be forced to choose, but by then it will probably be too late.

      Liked by 1 person

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