Buried in a Colorado appeals court decision was a slim but possible path for Electoral College electors to reject Donald Trump.
Politico reported on a footnote appended to an appeals court decision that left the door open a crack for the electors to reject Donald Trump:
In their order, the judges said any attempt by Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams to remove electors “after voting has begun” would be “unlikely in light of the text of the Twelfth Amendment.”
That interpretation could significantly undercut state laws across the country that demand immediate removal of electors who vote against the popular vote winner in their state. It’s a silver lining for a handful of Democratic electors urging their colleagues to cast votes against Donald Trump when the Electoral College meets on Monday.
Footnotes such as the one attached to the Colorado lawsuit ruling are why Republicans are conducting whip counts of electors.
No one knows what would happen if a group of electors broke away and defied the state laws binding them to the winner of the popular vote because these laws have never been challenged.
Let’s be realistic. The odds of the electors turning on Trump and electing Hillary Clinton or someone else is the longest of long shots. However, the door is open. A last minute bombshell about Russia’s election interference, or Trump’s role in or knowledge about Russian election meddling, could change everything.
The point is that if the electors would choose to do so, they could reject Trump and challenge the constitutionality of the state laws. It is a slim chance, but the electors may be free to vote against Trump and pick another candidate.
2016 has been such a crazy year that one final twist in the Electoral College feels like a perfect way to close the book on one of the most unusual presidential elections in U.S. history.