National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has no Legal Force

Concern has been expressed over an attempt by several states to, in essence, alter our form of government, by altering the way in which their Electoral College votes are awarded in Presidential elections.

Each state has a certain number of Electoral votes, based on the number of U.S. Senators and Congressmen who represent it. No state can ever have less than 3 Electoral votes. The system was designed as a compromise to protect smaller states from being politically overwhelmed by larger states, and to prevent any handful of very populous states from dictating to the rest of the Union.

However, according to well-known and respected journalist Bill Still, 12 states have formed a so-called National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC), by which these states would award their Electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, rather than to the candidate who captures the vote within their respective boundaries. And perhaps predictably, 2 of the 12 states are the most populous states in the Union – just the sort of combination the Electoral College was designed to counter.

However, their NPVIC is dead on arrival, since the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from entering into compacts, without Congressional approval.

UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I, Section 3, Paragraph 3:

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress…enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State…”

Even if both Houses of Congress could be so thoroughly corrupt as to permit a group of rogue states to attempt such a thing, it would be unlikely to survive a legal challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, such a course of action would constitute a rebellion against the authority of the United States (the authority of the United States is the Constitution) and could result in an unwelcome military response, with Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Rhode Island, New York, Colorado and Connecticut ending up as Reconstruction States – perhaps to the great relief of their citizens.

 

Patrick Cloutier is the author of Mussolini’s War in Spain. Italian Intervention in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939.

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has no Legal Force

  1. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that congressional consent is only necessary for interstate compacts that ‘encroach upon or interfere with the just supremacy of the United States [U.S. Steel Corporation v. Multistate Tax Commission, 1978].’ Because the choice of method of appointing presidential Electors is an “exclusive” and “plenary” state power, there is no encroachment on federal authority.
    Thus, under established compact jurisprudence, congressional consent would not be necessary for the National Popular Vote compact to become effective.

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