Capitol Alert

A former Democratic presidential candidate is suing California. He wants GOP votes to count

Understanding the Electoral College: ‘A process not a place’

Devised in 1787, the purpose of the Electoral College was a compromise to set a balance between those who wanted the popular vote to determine the election and those who didn't want public input. The number of Congress members a state has is how m
Up Next
Devised in 1787, the purpose of the Electoral College was a compromise to set a balance between those who wanted the popular vote to determine the election and those who didn't want public input. The number of Congress members a state has is how m

The 2016 presidential election is over, but debate surrounding the fairness of the Electoral College rages on — with one major twist.

You've probably never heard of Lawrence Lessig. The liberal political activist and Harvard law professor ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, but was unable to get his name on the ballot.

Alongside voter rights advocates, Lessig is now suing one of the most liberal states in the country, arguing that California's winner-take-all system disenfranchises Republican voters.

The lawsuit primarily rests on two claims: First, the state violates the Constitution's equal protection clause by not complying with the Supreme Court's precedent of "one person, one vote." Second, California violates citizens' First Amendment right to free speech by curbing their ability to associate with political parties.

Jason Harrow, chief counsel at Equal Citizens, is working with Lessig to give voters across the country a greater voice in the political process.

"We want to help all voters have some kind of say in states where their votes don't matter," Harrow said.

The organization is also suing Massachusetts over its lack of representation for Republicans, as well as Texas and South Carolina over its lack of representation for Democrats.

A federal judge on Tuesday heard California's motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that there is no valid legal claim. A ruling has yet to be issued.

If California's motion is denied, the lawsuit will continue through the court system. If the case is tossed, Harrow said his team will likely appeal the judge's ruling.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

EXAMINING GUN VIOLENCE

Garen Wintemute, the founding director of the Violence Prevention Research Program, is speaking at noon today at UC Center Sacramento. He will discuss his research on gun violence in California and highlight points of data that contradict public perception.

Fearing that federal data on gun violence might soon similarly vanish under a president with close ties to the National Rifle Association, Dr. Garen Wintemute called together his partners at the University of California, Davis Violence Prevention

COUNTIES TO LAWMAKERS: DON'T CHANGE UTILITY LIABILITY LAWS

The California State Association of Counties is holding a news conference at 10 a.m. today in Santa Rosa in response to legislative proposals related to wildfire preparedness. Standing alongside a wildfire survivor, county supervisors will express their concerns about changing existing utility liability laws.

INFLUENCER OF THE DAY

When robots take California jobs, what happens next? Influencers have plenty to say.

“We must emphasize the long-term importance of educating our students in the sciences, technology, engineering and math to bridge the technology skills gap, especially in our poorest communities. More and more technology jobs will become available, but many who are not trained in these areas will be missing these employment opportunities. We should consider creating technology-based charter schools that are accessible to every neighborhood in California. We know tech-based charter schools work. Why aren't there more of them?”

-Jim Boren, executive director of the Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust; and former executive editor of The Fresno Bee

MUST READ: California police killed more than 170 civilians in 2017

  Comments