Dick Cheney and the 12th amendment

Stanley M. Morris smmorris at RMI.NET
Mon Jul 24 15:20:11 PDT 2000


Colorado has a statute requiring that a candidate be resident for two months
prior to entering into an office. It strikes me that it is strictly a state
function to determine who its inhabitants are for the purpose of electoral
votes. There does not appear to be a Federal or State statutory time limit.
Would not the Slaughter House Cases apply?

Stan Morris, Atty
P.O.Box 879
Cortez, CO 81321
970.565.3771 (voice)
970.565.2739 (fax)


At 02:27 PM 07/24/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>David Barron raises a lovely point.  The 12th Amendment does indeed use the
>word "inhabitant."  Query 1):  Is Cheney's primary residence (i.e., where
>he owns at least one house and spends most of his time) Texas or
>Washington?  2)  If Texas, would you as his lawyer advise him to see the
>house ASAP and buy one anywhere else.
>
>How important is the 12th amendment problem as a practical matter.  All it
>means is that the Texas electors, after voting for Bush, would abstrain on
>Cheney.  It's unthinkable that the Democratic nominee would gain a
>majority.  The worst outcome is that no candidate for the VP has a
>majority, so it would go to the Senate, which would pick among the two with
>the highest number of votes.  Even if, by some miracle, the Senate had
>become Democratic, wouldn't they be honorbound to vote for Cheney over
>Gore's running mate, lest a full-scale constitutional crisis be generated?
>
>Shameless self-promotion:  The system of presidential election is discussed
>by both Akhil Amar and myself (separately) in Constitutional
>Stupidities/Constituitonal Tragedies.  Akhil believes that the electoral
>college is the stupidest feature of the Constitution; I believe that the
>one-state/one-vote rule for breaking electoral-college deadlocks is
>stupidest. (I'm more of an agnostic on the electoral college itself.)
>Should the "Cheney limitation" (especially if he can get around it merely
>by changing his registration two weeks before the Convention) be a
>candidate for stupidest feature?
>
>Sandy Levinson
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