Petition for a Writ of Certiorari filed in Washington State Presidential Electors case

Above is the link to the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in PETER BRET CHIAFALO, LEVI JENNET GUERRA, AND ESTHER VIRGINIA JOHN, Petitioners, v. STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent. The Writ would be directed at the Supreme Court of Washington.

(Note: The case has not yet been docketed at the Supreme Court, but could be docketed as soon as tomorrow.)

The relevant facts are that the three named Petitioners were Democratic Presidential Electors in 2016 for Hillary Clinton, but cast their Electoral Votes for Colin Powell for President and each voted for a different Vice Presidential candidate as well. They were administratively fined $1,000 for not voting for the candidates of their party and they proceeded to challenge the fine in Washington state court, ultimately losing at the Washington Supreme Court.

The decision of the Washington Supreme Court directly contradicts the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in the Colorado Presidential Electors case, where the Presidential Electors prevailed. The State of Colorado will likely be submitting its Petition for a Writ of Certiorari very soon in that case.

I expect the Supreme Court will quickly take this case and expedite it so that a final decision will be handed down before parties begin to nominate their Presidential Elector slates next year.

I will provide a link to the docket as soon as it becomes available.

The above is a link to my August thread on the Tenth Circuit ruling.

The decision date in the 10th Circuit case was August 20, 2019, meaning that the due date for their Petition for a Writ of Certiorari at the Supreme Court will be Wednesday, November 18, 2019, but they may very well file earlier than that.

I don’t see that this can be upheld as the constitution does not require electors to vote a given way.

Previous cases involving faithless electors as I recall have always found on the side of the elector haven’t they?

The Tenth Circuit ruled in favor of the Presidential Electors. There has not been a lot of jurisprudence on this, but I think both a textualist approach and a historical approach both indicate that Presidential Electors have full freedom to cast their votes for whoever they wish.

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I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on how these cases might impact the future application of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Assuming of course the threshold is met and a/some state(s) try to comply.

I don’t know if they will/can require electors to vote a certain way, I was thinking the NPVIC will allow states to select the electors based on the outcome. Subtle but distinct difference.

What a farcical electoral system where a few hundred can ignore millions of votes and just vote for whomever they like.

Thank you for your concern. We’ll take it under advisement and give it the due consideration it merits.


A system that allows the voters’ intentions to be ignored is fundamentally flawed.

We will add this to the Comittee’s Agenda along with your original complaint.

In the meantime, please remember this particular system has been a contributing factor to the creation of the most powerful nation in history.

While whatever it is you use to choose the person who will bow to the english monarch next has but managed to turn a penal colony into a hen’s nest of nancy-boys.

Have a nice day.


It certainly is understandable that there are advocates who think that the President of the USA should be elected on the basis of the popular vote.

Oh my.

THAT was some righteous literation.


Interesting, if they side with Colorado, they will make the vote a referendum and not an election. Worse case scenario, this will greatly increase the power that parties have over the citizens because they will only have to select electors loyal to them and their candidate.

It could really change the political landscape of the nation where you have populations that vote for a candidate, but their opponent takes the state. This is ripe for abuse.

IMO, It is the taking nationwide to the US the Wisconsin model where one party wins the election and the other retains power.\19-465.html

Case has been docketed as #19-465.

Punish people for exercising their duty as explicitly described in the Constitution? No.

If the Tenth Circuit approaches wins out, it will put a subtle hole in the mechanics of the National Popular Vote mechanism.

The NPV merely requires the participating States to elect the slate of Electors according to the winner of the National Popular Vote, rather than the State vote. However, the Electors are still nominated in the same way and once elected they would be free agents.

No guarantee that they would vote as pledged.

In the long run, the only solution is to eliminate the office of Elector entirely, instead having a State simply certify its Electoral Vote directly to Congress according to the results of the election.

And they are free to promote a change to the Constitution to allow that.
That should not be relevant to this case, which should be based on the Constitution we now have.

That would require an amendment. Electors are specifically mentioned in the constitution.


Read Federalist 68. The EC was never intended to mirror the votes of the people.

I am aware of that, but still, that is the only long term solution.