Election 2020

Lessig: 20 Trump Electors Could Defect to Clinton

The electoral college map of Donald Trump's win in November 2016 (Shutterstock)

Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard University constitutional law professor who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination but never even made it into the debates, claimed to have 20 Republican members of the Electoral College who are considering voting for Hillary Clinton rather than President-elect Donald Trump, Politico reported.

Lessig runs an anti-Trump group, “Electors Trust,” which offers pro bono legal counsel to Republican presidential electors considering defecting from Trump. His organization would have to flip 37 Republican electors to sway the election, a last-ditch attempt to reverse the results of November.

“Obviously, whether an elector ultimately votes his or her conscience will depend in part upon whether there are enough doing the same,” Lessig said. “We now believe there are more than half the number needed to change the result seriously considering making that vote.”

Lessig’s claims seem to contradict reports from Republican National Committee sources that only one elector — Chris Suprun of Texas — would refuse to vote for Trump. Although this discrepancy could be explained by saying that only Suprun has made up his mind, while the 19 other electors on Lessig’s list could be merely open to the idea.

Indeed, Suprun is the only Republican elector to publicly declare his intention to vote for someone other than Trump.

Lessig did not provide evidence to support his claim, but insisted that his group has heard from 20 Republicans open to casting their votes for someone besides Trump. Because Lessig did not provide any names, it is unclear if any of the secretly anti-Trump Republican electors live in states with laws that force them to vote for Trump or be replaced by a pro-Trump alternate.

The 538 members of the Electoral College —306 Republicans and 232 Democrats — will gather in their state capitals next Monday, December 19, to cast their official vote for president. If all Republican electors support Trump, he would easily pass the 270-vote threshold.

The most electors to ever reject a presidential nominee did so in 1808, when six Democratic-Republican electors rejected James Madison. Ever since, there hasn’t been more than one so-called “faithless” elector in a single Electoral College vote. In 1832, two Maryland electors abstained.

Next Page: Trump won, and these “faithless electors” should get over it.

The very idea of being a faithless elector in 2016 is suspect, however. Not only has Hillary Clinton — the only real alternative — already conceded the race, but Trump has been choosing members of his cabinet. Liberals have thrown tons of hissy fits, but the fact of the matter is, this election is over.

I was a supporter of the #NeverTrump movement to stop Donald Trump from taking the Republican nomination, but this is different. Not only is Clinton the only viable alternative, but to steal the election from Trump at this point would do irreparable damage to the country.

If we really do want the members of the Electoral College to vote their consciences and support the candidate they think best — as the founders of our country intended — we can fight for that to happen in 2020. But it would be jarring and unfair for the electors to reject Trump at this point.

For those terrified of Trump’s governance, there are still many options. America’s government is built on the principle of checks and balances — Congress and local government can still fight back if Trump does prove to be the monster liberals fear he is. Rather than trying to steal the election now, they should be focused on the next elections.