Last-ditch attempts by a group of Republican delegates seeking to stop Donald Trump from becoming the GOP presidential nominee are quickly fading — and now their fight is facing a federal legal challenge. At issue is whether delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland are bound to vote for the results of state caucuses and primaries. A group that claims the support of hundreds of convention delegates has been pushing to change Republican presidential nomination rules so that delegates can “vote their conscience” — reviving a long-simmering debate led by GOP purists who believe that only convention delegates — not the millions of voters who participated in the primary process — can ultimately pick a presidential nominee.
Carroll “Beau” Correll, one of Virginia’s 49 GOP convention delegates, filed suit in federal court in Richmond on June 24 challenging a state law binding him to the results of the March 1 primary. He’s a former federal prosecutor and defense attorney who supported the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). His suit argues that the state law binding him to the primary results violates his First Amendment right to vote his “conscience, free from government compulsion.”
Correll wrote in his suit that he believes Trump “is unfit to serve as President of the United States and that voting for Donald Trump would therefore violate Correll’s conscience.” In his filing, he said that he plans not to vote for Trump on any ballot at the convention in violation of state law.