A state senator from north-central Idaho is touting a scheme thats been circulating on tea party blogs, calling for states that supported Mitt Romney to refuse to participate in the Electoral College in a move backers believe would change the election result.
Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, sent an article out on Twitter headed, A last chance to have Mitt Romney as President in January (its still not too late).
Constitutional scholar David Adler, director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University, said the plan is not totally constitutional, as touted in the article, but is instead a radical, revolutionary proposal that has no basis in federal law or the architecture of the Constitution.
Adler called it really a strange and bizarre fantasy.
Nuxoll said, Well, I guess thats one lawyer.
Nuxoll said she received the article by email and decided to share it on Twitter. I post for people to see and think about things and reflect about things, she said. I dont know if its realistic.
The article, by Judson Phillips, a former Shelby County, Tenn., assistant district attorney and founder of Tea Party Nation, posits that if 17 of the 24 states that Romney carried refuse to participate in the Electoral College, the college would have no quorum, throwing the presidential pick to the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.
The problem with that, Adler said, is that its based on a misreading of the 12th Amendment, which notes when no candidate receives a majority in the Electoral College, the decision moves to the House, where each state would have one vote and a quorum of two-thirds of the states would be required. The two-thirds reference in the 12th Amendment is a reference not to the Electoral College but rather to the establishment of a quorum in the House of Representatives, he said.
To win in the Electoral College, a presidential candidate needs only to get at least 270 electoral votes, Adler said. No quorum is required.
The author touted by Sen. Nuxoll is confusing the Electoral College with the House of Representatives, Adler said.
It is possible that a president might be elected without reports from some states.
George Washington was elected to his first term in 1789 despite the fact that some states were not able to file a report of their electoral votes, owing to a major snowstorm.
He added, President Obamas comfortable margin of victory would preserve his election even if some states were unable to report their election results.
Nuxoll said shes not actively working to get Idaho to skip the Electoral College vote.
It would have to be a coordinated effort among states, she said. So it couldnt be just Idaho.
She said, I think it is very, very sad that we elected our current president, because he is definitely not following (the) Constitution. He is depriving us of our freedoms by all the agencies, and so what Im thinking is the states are going to have to stand up for our individual rights and for our collective rights.
Nuxoll won a second Senate term on Nov. 6 with 64 percent of the vote in Idahos new legislative District 7, defeating independent Jon Cantamessa.