The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that states may require presidential electors to cast their ballots for the candidate chosen by popular vote.
The decision, written by Justice Elena Kagan, appears to end the quixotic pursuit of a legal endorsement for "faithless electors" — Electoral College delegates who want to follow their own conscience instead of the voters' wishes.
By clearly rejecting the idea that electors can vote however they want, the ruling removes one strategy that opponents of President Trump attempted to use in 2016 and may have wanted to employ again if Trump were reelected this fall.
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Expand the size of Congress. Place term limits on Supreme Court justices. Make voting mandatory.
These are just some of the more provocative recommendations for revitalizing our democracy from the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The 31 proposals, unveiled Thursday, come after two years of research into the system's dysfunction and deliberation about how to make it work better.
But the unveiling, as the 84-page report itself notes, also comes at a particularly stressful moment for an American democracy in which extreme partisanship has already crippled the government's ability to address important national problems.
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Montana's disclosure requirements for campaign donors will remain among the gold standards for statewide campaign finance regulation now that the Supreme Court has decided to leave the law alone.
A federal appeals court last August upheld state requirements that groups paying for political advertising reveal their funders and spending. Without comment Monday, the Supreme Court said it would not reconsider that ruling.
The decision amounts to a symbolic but not insignificant win for advocates of more openness about political spending. Campaign finance reform groups hope Montana will provide a template for other states to adopt similarly tight disclosure requirements. And they assume the high court's ruling will form a precedent protecting future state laws against similar challenges.
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