Popular Election of President: A Constitutional Consideration (Part 3 of 3)

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
10/31/2012
       
Popular Election of President: A Constitutional Consideration (Part 3 of 3)

In the final installment of this three-part series we examine the constitutional considerations of a national popular vote initiative.

As we reported in the earlier installments in this series, ABC News is reporting that scholars and pundits are once again pushing for the abolition of the Electoral College. They insist that the electoral college established by our Founders in the Constitution is outmoded and not in keeping with the realities of contemporary presidential politics. One proposal being promoted by those seeking to scrap the Electoral College is the National Popular Vote (NPV) initiative.

Constitutionalists will at once recognize problems in the National Popular Vote (NPV). First, let us consider the historical issues. That is to say, any democratization of the presidential election process is an affront to the express intent of the Founders. The men who constructed our federal government zealously guarded against permitting the harmful influence of democracy to infect the inner workings of our nation. In the case of the Electoral College, the Founders intended the body of electors to be a deliberative convention of wise men brought together for the sole purpose of soberly choosing a president from among the available candidates.

In Federalist, Number 68, Alexander Hamilton explained how the method chosen by him and his colleagues of electing the president was still influenced by the will of the people.

It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any pre-established body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.

Regarding the decision to rely on such a body to make such an important decision, Hamilton wrote:

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