by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Christopher Suprun, a Texas Republican, could not bring himself to vote for his party’s nominee when he exercised his duty as a member of 2016’s Electoral College. Lingering questions about Donald Trump’s grasp of foreign policy, old comments on race, and his opaque personal finances meant he instead chose then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The abuse followed swiftly.
“I was doxxed, threatened, and followed,” he said. “Same with my wife. Same with my kids.”
But given the chance, Suprun would do the same again in 2020, he told the Washington Examiner, even after the Supreme Court this week upheld the right of states to penalize “faithless electors.”
On Monday, the justices unanimously ruled against the argument that electors, appointed to act on behalf of a state, can reject election results to exercise their own discretion in the candidate they back.
The outcome was welcomed by his supporters, who said it not only respected the will of the Founding Fathers, but it fixed a potential hurdle for the president’s reelection campaign.
“I believe the Supreme Court made the right decision, consistent with the Constitution, that the states ‘may’ require presidential electors to support the winner of the popular vote in their state,” said Doug Deason, co-chair of the Texas Victory Fund. “Obviously, if the November election is close, this ruling is more likely to benefit President Trump over Biden. Any rogue electors would probably be more likely to oppose the president’s reelection.”
The court action stemmed from an attempt in 2016 by a number of Democratic electors to encourage Republicans to vote against Trump, tilting the Electoral College toward defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Her campaign chairman wanted to go further and urged intelligence chiefs to brief electors on Russian interference in the election.