Cato Institute Debate

2010/07/01
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Is the Electoral College obsolete?

Next week, the Cato Institute will host two leading legal scholars in a debate about the merits of the Electoral College. Tara Ross, author of Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College (it’s in our bookstore), will face off against Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, who is also a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington School of Law. Tara has also written a forthcoming article for the Federalist Society’s journal, Engage, on the “Legal and Logistical Ramifications of the National Popular Vote Plan.”

Save Our States is excited about any and all opportunities to discuss and debate the Electoral College, especially against Dr. John Koza’s proposed “National Popular Vote” plan. The supposed reform proposal is an end-run around the constitutional amendment process by way of an interstate compact. That’s clever, no doubt about it. It may even be constitutional, though legal questions remain. But as one former NPV cosponsor-turned-opponent says, “An interstate compact is just not a robust way to build a system as important as the presidential election system.” It leads to a variety of potential absurdities, including a total inability to deal with recounts and the potential for state-versus-state shenanigans in close elections.

Claremont Graduate University Professor Michael Uhlmann outlined some of the disconcerting possibilities in the New York Post: “Rx for national vote-count chaos.”

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Why Save our States?

The genius of the United States of America: we are both United and States. The American system of states is Federalism. One part of it is the Electoral College, the state-by-state way we elect the President of the United States.

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