Harvard professor and Constitutional expert Lawrence Lessig made waves this month when he announced that he would provide free legal representation to any member of the Electoral College who was assigned to Donald Trump but who is willing to vote against him. And now Lessig is claiming that he’s already convinced twenty of Trump’s Electors to consider doing just that. If his claim his accurate and they go through with it, puts him more than halfway to costing Trump an Electoral College victory.
Trump has 306 Electors assigned to him. But if he were to receive fewer than 270 Electoral College votes, he would not become President. That much is clear under the Constitution. What’s less clear is whom Lessig’s defectors plan to vote for instead. If he could get 38 of Trump’s Electors to switch to Hillary Clinton, she would become President instead. But if he’s only able to convince them to switch their votes to some protest candidate, or to cast no vote at all, and the result is that neither Trump nor Clinton ends up with 270 votes, then the Electoral College would fail to produce a winner.
In such case the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would choose the next President. It seems most likely that House Republicans would end up sticking with Donald Trump, as replacing him with some other Republican could prove to be too controversial of a move. Even with Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior and controversial cabinet picks and the revelation that Russia rigged the election for him, the House could face even more controversy if they install a new President who wasn’t even a nominee to begin with.
So it’s not clear what Lawrence Lessig would accomplish if he’s merely able to prevent anyone from winning the Electoral College, other than slightly delaying Donald Trump’s victory. The Politico article in question doesn’t specify whom Lessig expects his twenty defecting Electors to vote for. In any case he has five days remaining to nearly double that number. If you enjoy Daily News Bin, consider making a contribution: