Presidential Campaign

The last stand: Why I will vote for John Kasich in today’s Electoral College

Chris Suprun
Getty Images
Standing next to the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s capitol this weekend reminded me of the incredible history of our great country and the struggles our Founders faced. Today, I have an important duty as one of the 538 Electors.
Instead of voting for Donald Trump, I will be casting my ballot for Ohio Governor John Kasich.
A recent poll shows the majority of Americans want today’s Electoral College vote delayed, which is why I’m asking my fellow Republican Electors to vote for Governor Kasich, in order to force the vote to the House of Representatives. 
{mosads}I’m gravely concerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin helped Trump win the Republican primary, in addition to the general election. In light of the mounting evidence of foreign influence undermining our election, delegates to the Electoral College should have been briefed by the CIA.
Since Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced that we would not be getting briefed, I feel strongly that my fellow electors and I do not have enough information to adequately decide who to vote for today. Only Members of Congress, who have full intelligence briefings and ongoing accountability to the American people, can properly decide if Mr. Trump is qualified to be elected to serve as president on January 20th.
A growing list of Republican Electors have told me they’re open to sending the vote for President to the House of Representatives, which has happened twice in our nation’s history. This would allow democratically elected representatives, under the leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan, to judge the fitness of Mr. Trump. They can then assess CIA intelligence about Russian interference in our elections or vote for an alternative Republican candidate like Governor John Kasich.

Never in American history has a president-elect presented more conflict of interest questions and foreign entanglements than Donald Trump. Surely, electors have a constitutional duty if, after the popular vote but before the electoral vote, there emerges credible evidence that they are electing someone who is constitutionally ineligible to serve as President.

As we know from the Federalist Papers, the Framers created the Electoral College to be more than bean-counters, to exercise actual intelligence and discretion. Otherwise, the Electoral College would not need to vote in person at public proceedings, complete with deliberations on the merits of the candidates, and the Secretaries of State throughout the country would simply certify the results and send them on to Congress. The Electoral College is in the Constitution for a reason, as an essential check and balance of power.
In a decision that opens the door for members of the Electoral College to vote their conscience, the 10th Circuit Court of the United States ruled Saturday that the Colorado secretary of state cannot remove Colorado electors because of how they vote. The 10th Circuit signaled strongly that electors are free to vote their conscience, even in states that say they must vote for the winner of the popular election.
The opinion provides reasonably strong support for the proposition that states cannot remove electors because of the votes they cast under the 12th Amendment. In other states in the 10th Circuit, including Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, and Wyoming, that opinion should make it improper for a state official to try to do so. And as the only decision from a court of appeals on the issue, it is likely to be persuasive in other circuits as well.
The federal court strongly suggested that Colorado had no power to act under the 12th Amendment. Colorado certainly has no power to insist on a new oath not required by law. Colorado officials may interpret Colorado law to require this, but they cannot do anything that conflicts with the Constitution.

Ronald Reagan did not win the Cold War so that Vladimir Putin could pick our next president less than 50 years later. It’s time for electors of good conscience — my fellow members of the Republican Party — to protect the U.S. Constitution and defend the American people. Stand up and be counted. History will remember what you do in this moment.
I pray, for the future of our country, that you make the right decision.
Chris Suprun is from Texas and is an elected delegate to the Electoral College.

The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill

Tags 2016 presidential election Donald Trump Electoral College Faithless Electors Federalist Papers Hamilton Electors Paul Ryan Republican Party Russia Texas U.S. Constitution United States voting conscience Washington D.C.

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