Topic

constitution

24 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Ken Paxton, Pam Bondi, Xavier Becerra, Mark Brnovich, Chris Carr, Eric T. Schneiderman, Lisa Madigan, Roy Cooper, Bruce Beemer, Mark Herring

Attorneys General: Ask U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate Winner Take All for electors

Allocating electoral votes by Winner Take All is unfair and may be unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment (one person, one vote). Before the 2020 presidential election, Attorneys General especially of populous states like California and New York should take this to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the Winner Take All system. "Lessig's equal protection argument…[is] on the right side of history and logic."—Laurence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law and cofounder of American Constitution Society (December 5, 2016, on Twitter) Law professor and activist Lawrence Lessig writes (emphasis added), 'Yes, the Constitution creates an inequality because of the way it allocates electoral college votes. A state like Wyoming, for example, gets 3 electoral votes with a population of less than 600,000, while California gets 55 electoral votes with a population of more than 37 million. Thus…California has a population that is 66x Wyoming, but only gets 18x the electoral college votes. 'But the real inequality of the electoral college is created by the “winner take all” (WTA) rule for allocating electoral votes. WTA says that the person who wins the popular votes gets all the electoral college votes for that state. Every state (except Maine and Nebraska) allocates its electors based on WTA. But that system for allocating electoral votes is not mandated by the Constitution. It is created by the states. And so that raises what should be an obvious and much more fiercely contested question—why isn’t WTA being challenged by the Democrats in this election? 'The strongest argument about why it isn’t is an argument of reliance (some people gussy this up to a point about “the rule of law” but that’s just confused rhetoric): The election was waged assuming WTA; it’s not fair now, the argument goes, to change the rule for how electors will be counted. 'No doubt, it is unfair to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They spent money in reliance on the existing system. But that’s not the only “unfairness” at stake here: What about the unfairness being felt by the millions of voters whose votes were effectively diluted, or essentially disenfranchised? Why doesn’t their harm also weigh in the balance? 'It’s perfectly clear that the Attorney General of New York or California could walk into the Supreme Court tomorrow, and ask the Court to hear the case. Delaware tried to do this exactly fifty years ago, but the Court ducked the question. But based on that complaint, were I a citizen of California, I’d ask my current AG (and future Senator) why hasn’t CA done the same thing? And were I a citizen of New York, I’d ask my AG the same. Why are these big states standing by quietly as their voters are essentially silenced by the unconstitutional inequality?' Lessig quotes a statement of the argument written by Atlanta lawyer Larry Sims. Salient parts of Sims's argument (emphasis added): 'a winner-take-all system of allocating Electors by the states denies the minority of voters within each state any representation whatsoever within the Electoral College and ultimately in the case of the 2000 and 2016 elections, denies the plurality of voters nationwide their choice for President under circumstances in which the constitutionally established small state advantage made part of the Electoral College would not. This is neither a reasonable nor a rational result in a representative democracy. This result was dictated by the winner-take-all method of allocating Electors used by the states. It is this state law method of allocating Electors that is an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and its bedrock principle of one [person] one vote. … The winner-take-all allocation of multiple Electors (ranging from 3 Electors in our smallest states to 55 in our largest) denies any voice whatsoever to each state’s minority voters, no matter how substantial their vote may be. The distortion of presidential election results by the winner-take-all apportionment of a state’s Electors is an unconstitutional denial of the equal protection of the law.' Donald Trump threatens the U.S. Constitution itself through his aggressive statements against the press (threatening to "open up libel laws"), against free speech (suggesting the government should revoke citizenship as punishment for protest-burning the American flag, which the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld as protected speech), against religious groups (notably Muslims), promoting cruel and unusual punishment (Trump has spoken multiple times in support of waterboarding, which international and U.S. law have deemed torture, which is illegal), and against other institutions protected by the U.S. Constitution. Not only is Donald Trump apparently ignorant of the Constitution, his attacks make clear that he does not care to understand it or intend to uphold it. Given what is at stake, Attorneys General should take the argument against Winner Take All, which is not in the Constitution, to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Photo credit: AP/Evan Vucci/Getty/artisteer via Salon.com) Related articles: How the Electoral College Became Winner-Take-All Why James Madison Wanted to Change the Way We Vote For President Five presidential nominees who won popular vote but lost the election Updated 8/29/17 to edit recipients to match the top 10 states (as of 2008) whose voters are most impacted by biased representation due to Winner Take All. I also added links to a few related articles. While Democrats may be most aware of the unfairness of Winner Take All electors after the 2000 and 2016 elections, the 14th amendment of the Constitution is meant to apply to all U.S. citizens regardless of party affiliation, hence this is not a partisan issue. It's time to amend this undemocratic process that has allowed (at last count) five presidential candidates to win the most votes but lose the presidency. Updated 3/4/17 to replace Kamala Harris, now a U.S. Senator, with Xavier Becerra, acting Attorney General for California. Updated 12/14/16 to add emphasis and another example of Trump's attacks on Constitutional institutions. A New York Times op-ed today titled "Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans" by Dahlia Lithwick and David S. Cohen mentioned the Winner Take All unconstitutionality argument (emphasis added): "There’s no shortage of legal theories that could challenge Mr. Trump’s anointment, but they come from outsiders rather than the Democratic Party. Impassioned citizens have been pleading with electors to vote against Mr. Trump; law professors have argued that winner-take-all laws for electoral votes are unconstitutional; a small group, the Hamilton Electors, is attempting to free electors to vote their consciences; and a new theory has arisen that there is legal precedent for courts to give the election to Mrs. Clinton based on Russian interference. All of these efforts, along with the grass-roots protests, boycotts and petitions, have been happening without the Democratic Party." Updated 12/13/16 to add additional Attorneys General, per commented suggestion.

R T
443 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Equal Vote America

Lawsuit Filed to Abolish the Electoral College and Demand Equal Vote for All Americans

Equal Vote for All Americans 2017/01/01Dear Fellow Americans, Our country, United States of America, was founded in the fundamental ideal enshrined in the Declaration of Independence: “Every Man Created Equal” with unalienable Rights for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. To achieve this ideal, unprecedented at the time, our founding father established the core principle of constitutional democracy, declared in the Preamble to the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” President Lincoln later reaffirmed this core democratic principle in his Gettysburg address, “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. However, miscarriage of democracy, i.e. the will of a clear majority voters being overturn, has taken place twice in five presidential elections since 2000. In another word, in our country, the most powerful democracy in the world, there has been as high as 40% of chances in the 21st century that the loser of popular votes won the presidency, the most powerful office in the world. Such undemocratic and outrageous injustice has been the direct result of the Electoral College system. The Right to Vote is the quintessence of being a free person with unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. However, under the Electoral College system, each vote is NOT counted equally from one state to the next. According to the latest Census Data 2013, Wyoming has the least population of 582,658 with 3 electoral votes allocated, while New York, our home state, has a population of 19,651,127 with 29 electoral votes allocated. This means, it takes Wyoming only 194,219 persons to have one electoral vote, whilst it takes New York 677,625 persons to have one electoral vote. In another word, being a person in New York is worth only 28.7% of a person in Wyoming in terms of the electoral vote allocated. Such inequality gets worse for residents in the top two states, 27.9% for both California and Texas. The Electoral College originated from the infamous “three-fifths” compromise within the 1787 Constitution which counted the population of slaves as three-fifths when appointing representatives and electors while granting no right to vote. If we rank all fifty states and the District of Columbia by population, then a resident of the top 44 states (98% of national population) would be worth less than 60% of a resident in Wyoming. In another word, in today’s America, a huge majority 98% of population are counted even less than the slaves in 1787, 230 years ago! Therefore, the Electoral College is not only in gross contradiction of our country’s founding ideal of “all men created equal”, but also in stark violation of the Equal Protection clause in the 14th Amendment that essentially guarantees the basic democratic principle of “One Person One Vote, and Every Vote Counted Equally.” From Mayors to House Representatives, from Senators to Governors, all these offices are elected by direct popular votes which reflects the democratic principle and basic fairness of “one person one vote, every vote equal”. The presidency is responsible for and accountable to all people in this country, rather than the states or electors. Hence, the Electoral College not only distorts the will of people, but also violates the accountability to constituents. At the beginning of our country, only white male owners of property had the right to vote, slaves were counted only three-fifths of a person, women could not vote, young people were drafted to fight for the country but could not vote, and after the Civil War the Jim Crow laws deliberately discriminated against minority people and deprived their right to vote. It took courage and action to overcome all of these injustices. Therefore, on December 14th, 2016, we filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, against the Congress aiming to (1) convince the Court that the Electoral College is not only un-American but also unconstitutional, and (2) compel the Congress to enact new laws for presidential election under the principle of "one person one vote, every vote is equal" according to the 14th Amendment. Please help spread the word, and join this fight for our country’s founding ideal, core democratic principle, basic fairness and social justice to repeal the Electoral College, and achieve this fundamental right, “Equal Vote” for all Americans regardless of state of residency. Please visit us at http://equalvoteamerica.org/

EqualVote America
149 supporters
Started 5 months ago

Petition to Admin , Governor Rick Scott

Allow Florida Counties the option to have more than 1 school district per county

The Florida Constitution currently limits the number of local school districts to one per county. In many counties, that is just not enough. This creates such a large governmental body, as to lose accountability. It is nearly impossible to digest the multi-billion dollar budgets without a team of CPA's working on it for a year. It has been observed that smaller districts, with more public input, cost less per student, perform better, and have higher performing students. Also, having more than one district in a county sparks competition between the different districts, which enhances education opportunities, while keeping costs lower. Cost savings is realized through less governmental waste and overspending. Also busing would be reduced, which would save a lot of money, and shorten the time kids are on buses from hours, to minutes. I have personally attended meetings of the Greater Florida Consortium of School Boards. This organization is like the UN of Florida school boards. They pass non-binding resolutions which serve no purpose other than to stroke the egos of the members, and train board members to be big government minded. They actually aspire to, and compete to, be the biggest district in the consortium. The bigger the government, the better with these folks. Fiscal responsibility, and quality education are secondary concerns, at best, if at all. Currently, Article IX SECTION 4. School districts; school boards.—(a) Each county shall constitute a school district; provided, two or more contiguous counties, upon vote of the electors of each county pursuant to law, may be combined into one school district. In each school district there shall be a school board composed of five or more members chosen by vote of the electors in a nonpartisan election for appropriately staggered terms of four years, as provided by law. What this amendment would do: Allow the county electorate, in a countywide ballot initiative, to vote to divide their current district into 2 or more districts. What this amendment would NOT do: Divide districts, against the will of the electorate.

Robert Valenta
13 supporters
Update posted 6 months ago

Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, United States Supreme Court

Executive Orders Must Be Reviewed By The Supreme Court Before Enactment

In order to protect and safeguard the United States Constitution and its existing laws all executive orders must be passed through the Supreme Court before becoming effective. If the President of the United States is given the power of a dictator through executive orders it undermines this nation. It threatens the safety and security of all its citizens, neighbors, allies, and immigrants. The President's executive orders must undergo checks and balances just as any other law or bill. And by sending any executive order to the United States Supreme Court to be deemed lawful by the United States Constitution, then and only then may an executive order be enacted. The United States is not a Dictatorship, and no one part of the government should ever be allowed to institute law or regulation through executive order without obtaining the approval of the United States Supreme Court. Executive orders take effect thirty days after being published in the Federal Register. Executive orders bypass our lawmaking process. Executive orders are not allowed to conduct illegal activity and must not violate any part of the Constitution. Some may think that it would make sense to allow executive orders to pass by unchecked during times of war, but even during times of war the Presidents have violated the Constitution of the United States of America. These violations to OUR Constitution should not be allowed, even for the briefest of moments.All executives orders need to be reviewed, within the thirty days after being published, by the United States Supreme Court in order to be deemed lawful and to ensure that the order abides by The Constitution of The United States of America. If the executive order is deemed unlawful and/or violates the Constitution then it must be removed from the Federal Register, and the President has the option to revise or toss the order. Editing by, #ResistanceKittens via Twitter

Patrick Von Mende
46 supporters