Friday, August 27, 2004
Why this election may be decided by the Supreme Court again
I mentioned last week that Colorado (9 electoral votes) will have an amendment on the ballot that would change the state's electoral vote award from winner-take-all to proportional. What I didn't mention is that the amendment, if passed, specifies that it will take effect in the current election!
Think about it! If the electoral vote difference is within 9 votes, and if the Colorado amendment passes, there is going to be a legal challenge like no other.
Furthermore, the party making the challenge, of course, will be the losing party, and the position they take may be either to affirm or to deny the amendment, depending upon the popular vote outcome.
What this implies is that both parties are going to have lawyers lined up to take either position: that the amendment is or is not valid, and if valid, that it may or may not take effect for the current election.
Let's say that Kerry wins 271 to 267 and that Bush barely carries Colorado, which gives him 5 votes under the proportional system. But under winner-take-all Bush gets 9 votes, changing the tally to 267 to 271 in favor of Bush.
As in Florida, the Colorado Supreme Court will be called upon to rule on the validity of the amendment, but whichever way the court rules, you may be sure that the party losing under that ruling will take the matter on to the U.S. Supreme Court.
My hunch is that the Supremes will let the Colorado Supreme Court ruling stand, but then who could have guessed their action in the last election.