† Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, and author of The School-to- Prison Pipeline: Education, Discipline and Racialized Double Standards, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice and Considering Hate, is co-founder of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm CST.
editors’ note from nancy a heitzeg
There’s not a lot to say right now. We sit here frozen, watching the slow creep of fascism unfold, boldly announced in advance with ever growing lists of both evil and incompetent appointees. From Russia with Love so they say.
Since Trump’s victory is, as of yet, unofficial, a few have tried to intervene before it is so. Jill Stein mounted an effort to recount Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania where 75.000 votes provided the electoral margin of victory for Sunkist Stalin. While too little attention was paid pre-Election to voter suppression efforts and new voting restrictions, in the aftermath, they loom large. Even the the partial recounts — now legally stopped — revealed failed machinery and missing votes. As always.
Hillary Clinton’s 2.7 million popular vote victory means nothing due to the archaic Electoral College, who apportioned electors actually chose the President of the United States on December 19. This feature, the growing evidence (how could there be even more?) of electoral interference, Trump’s intention to violate the Emoluments Clause and perhaps the hit musical , have inspired a group of Hamilton Electors to organize dissent.
Their inspiration comes from Federalist Paper No. 68, authored by Alexander Hamilton in 1788:
“The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”
A group of electors has requested intelligence briefings to inform their decision, In addition, a federal lawsuit has been brought by electors from Colorado who are seeking to invalidate the legal restriction on electors in 29 states. A ruling in their favor would free electors to vote their conscience without fear of legal penalty regardless of the electoral apportionment of their state. Finally, an open letter to electors, signed by legal experts and attached to a petition of 5 million signatures began being published today.
Will this faithless elector strategy work? There are skeptics, and rightly so, as this feat would require 37 defectors and a gauntlet run through state legislatures and the GOP controlled House and Senate. It remains possible, but highly unlikely.
So we are ready for what seems to be inevitable. But if and when that arrives, that will be time enough..
In the meantime, uncertainty is our only ally.
As always, #Resist.