A federal judge in Colorado on Tuesday dismissed a case its plaintiffs hope will eventually bring more clarity to how members of the Electoral College should vote in presidential elections. And a dismissal is actually just what the plaintiffs wanted. They expect an appeal could bring their case before the nation’s highest court. At issue is a lawsuit by three members of the 2016 class of Colorado’s Electoral College who argued that Colorado GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams violated their constitutional rights by forcing them to officially cast their national electoral ballots for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Wiley Daniel dismissed the case— and in doing so, helped get the legal question potentially further up the legal chain on an appeal and perhaps, eventually, before the United States Supreme Court, which is what the plaintiffs ultimately want.
The lawsuit goes to the heart of Colorado’s law that requires electors to vote for a candidate who wins the popular vote. Clinton won Colorado’s popular vote by 48.16 to 43.25 percent in 2016.
In a 27-page ruling, Daniel said the lawsuit aims to “strike down Colorado’s elector statute that codifies the historical understanding and longstanding practice of binding electors to the People’s vote, and to sanction a new system that would render the People’s vote merely advisory.”