Monthly Archives: September 2009

“A Critique of the National Popular Vote Plan for Electing the President “

John Samples has posted this draft on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

    The National Popular Vote plan (NPV), introduced in more than 40 states, and adopted by 4, proposes an interstate compact to bring about direct election of the president of the United States. The proposal eliminates states as electoral districts in presidential elections by creating a national electoral district for the presidential election, thereby advancing a national political identity for the United States. States with small populations and states that are competitive may benefit from the electoral college. Few states clearly benefit from direct election of the president. NPV brings about this change without amending the Constitution, thereby undermining the legitimacy of presidential elections. It also weakens federalism by eliminating the role of the states in presidential contests. NPV nationalizes disputed outcomes and cannot offer any certainty that states will not withdraw from the compact when the results of an election become known. NPV will encourage presidential campaigns to focus their efforts in dense media markets where costs per vote are lowest; many states now ignored by candidates will continue to be ignored under NPV. For these reasons, states should not join the National Popular Vote compact.

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” FEC Ruling on LLCs May Pave New Way for Donors”

Roll Call offers this report ($) on the Black Rock AO, which has now been issued. You can read it here. Footnote 1 says that the commission could not reach consensus on whether or not to apply the Emily’s List case, given that it is not final, a good indication that there will not be four votes within the Commission to appeal that case further. (What the SG might do, however, is another matter.)
UPDATE: See also this post at WSJ‘s “Washington Wire.”

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The Other Questions Chief Justice Roberts Could Have Asked in Caperton

Many have noted Chief Justice Roberts’ 40-question dissent in Caperton v. Massey. It came in for a lot of criticism at the recent conference on judicial elections I attended in Seattle, with one speaker (not me!) calling the dissent “sophomoric.”
Well now John Elwood, writing in The Green Bag, lets us in on some additional questions (not heretofore seen) in the Chief’s dissent: “The Chief’s dissent listed 40 questions not answered by the majority opinion, ranging from ‘How much money is too much?’ to ‘How many days after a date should you wait before calling?’ and ‘What color socks are you supposed to wear with khakis and oxblood loafers, anyway?'”
Suffice it to say, Justice Kennedy did not answer these questions in the opinion for the majority.

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