Why Courts, Part 1: The Court Has To Give Us An Answer
Jason Harrow @ Medium Sep 19, 2017
Equal Votes is the first public campaign that has attempted to change the way the electoral college functions through multiple coordinated lawsuits. The stakes are huge: two out of the last three Presidents received fewer overall votes than their opponents, but Presidents Bush and Trump nonetheless became president because of the unfair and undemocratic way that states currently allocate their electors. If we want to stop this unfair result from happening again, we have to somehow convince states to allocate their electors in a manner that corresponds to the actual popular vote. In this post and a subsequent post, I want to explain why attempting to make this necessary change via the court system — rather than by asking Congress or state legislatures to change existing law, or by advocating for a constitutional amendment — is a good idea, now more than ever.
A primary advantage of filing lawsuits in federal court is that judges have to give us a reasoned response to our arguments. There are wonderful organizations that are attempting to get state legislatures to pass laws that will make a popular vote more likely, but no state legislature has to listen to these advocates. In fact, no matter how many citizens or advocates want to move to a system that more accurately reflects the will of the people, no state legislature has to vote on any bill that will change the status quo. That’s just the way legislatures work: they choose what issues they want to address.
The same is true of a constitutional amendment or a Congressional law. As many people know, inaction is the default mode in our polarized system. Every constituent in every state could write to their senators asking them to take this issue up, but our Senators are still allowed to say nothing and do nothing. Don’t get me wrong: you should write to your elected officials about this critical issue and advocate for legislative change. But don’t expect to get a reasoned answer about what their position is, and don’t expect an immediate vote in the legislature on a prospective constitutional amendment. Congress doesn’t have to act, and it likely won’t.
EqualVotes.US: Where we are, where we’re going Lawrence Lessig @ Medium Oct 21, 2017 Almost a year ago, a bunch of us began talking about how to fix an increasingly dangerous flaw in the mechanics of our Republic — the Electoral College. We had just witnessed the...read more
Lawrence Lessig & Richard Painter @ USA Today: Let’s fix Electoral College. It’ll be easy compared to gerrymandering
Let's fix Electoral College. It'll be easy compared to gerrymandering Lawrence Lessig & Richard Painter @ USA Today Oct 13, 2017 In each state, in a clear denial of proportionality, millions of votes for president don't count. This concept needs urgent legal...read more
The Road To The Supreme Court Jason Harrow @ Medium Oct 5, 2017 The ultimate goal of the Equal Votes project is to have the U.S. Supreme Court find that the winner-take-all method of allocating electoral college votes violates the core “one person, one vote” principle...read more
Why Equal Votes And The National Popular Vote Work Well Together Jason Harrow @ Medium Sep 29, 2017 On September 22, Equal Citizens founder Lawrence Lessig went on Reddit “Ask Me Anything” to answer questions about our Equal Votes project. He received several...read more
Why Courts, Part 2: Courts Are Good At Analyzing Equality Jason Harrow @ Medium Sep 26, 2017 In my prior post, I explained why it’s helpful that, after we file our legal complaint, a court has to take up our case and tell us whether we win or lose. But that raises the...read more
Ask Me Anything about Reforming the Electoral College and Equal Votes Lawrence Lessig @ Reddit AMA Sep 22, 2017 "I’m Lessig of Harvard Law School, here to answer questions about the case EqualVotes.US want to bring to reform the Electoral College. AMA!" More...read more
"Selective Constitutionalism" Lawrence Lessig @ Medium Sep 16, 2017 Last week, we launched a campaign to raise the funds we need to bring an Equal Protection challenge to the winner-take-all system for allocating electoral college votes. Tons were really excited about...read more
Removing the Least Democratic Part of America’s Elections Lawrence Lessig @ IVN.US Sep 15, 2017 Voting in America is not easy. You first have to register. You have to find your polling place. In most states, you have to take time before, during, or after work to get...read more
The Equal Protection Challenge to Winner Take All: A Legal Guide Lawrence Lessig @ Medium Sep 14, 2017 Today, the non-profit that I founded, EqualCitizens.US, announced it would crowdfund support for two lawsuits to challenge the way votes are allocated in the...read more