Case Title

Chiafalo v. State of Washington; Colorado Department of State v. Baca - Supreme Court of the United States (No. 19-465, 19-518)

Document Type

Briefs and Court Filings

Publication Date



The Framers of the Constitution crafted the Electoral College to be an independent institution with the responsibility of selecting the President and Vice-President. Therefore, they intended each elector to exercise independent judgment in deciding whom to vote for. A state cannot revise the Constitution unilaterally by reducing the elector to a ministerial agent who must vote in a particular way or face a sanction. The question of each elector’s moral or political obligation is not before the Court. Nor is the desirability of the current electoral system. Rather, this case turns on what the Constitution allows, and what it prohibits. The historical record strongly supports the notion that the Constitution allows an elector to exercise independent judgment and prohibits a State from interfering with an elector’s ability to do so—a position Congress has consistently reaffirmed.

This robust historical record supports only one conclusion: Our constitutional framework allows each elector to vote as he or she chooses.