The End of the Electoral College?

Jonathan Adler jha5 at
Fri Oct 15 13:36:26 PDT 2004

Perhaps one more likely (or less, less-likely) scenario would first involve
a handful of states would move to a system of non-partisan reapportionment,
thus reducing the House majority's stake in partisan gerrymandering.


Jonathan H. Adler
Associate Professor
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
11075 East Boulevard 
Cleveland, OH 44106
ph) 216-368-2535
fax) 216-368-2086
cell) 202-255-3012
jha5 at

-----Original Message-----
From: conlawprof-bounces at
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at] On Behalf Of Samuel Bagenstos
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 4:28 PM
To: conlawprof at; Mark.Scarberry at
Subject: RE: The End of the Electoral College?

Isn't it a little weird to say that one party would have a House
majority in the current partisan-gerrymandered system but nonetheless
feel that it would benefit substantially from eliminating partisan

Samuel R. Bagenstos
Professor of Law
Washington University School of Law
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO  63130

>>> "Scarberry, Mark" <Mark.Scarberry at> 10/15/2004
2:55:41 PM >>>
One problem is that there is no way, short of constitutional amendment,
require all states to move to the Maine system. I think the goal should
to end the partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts. Congress
the power to end it, under Art. I, sec. 4, cl. 1. That very few
congressional districts are unsafe for incumbents is, I think, a much
serious flaw in our democracy than the electoral college. 


For partisan gerrymandering to be ended, one party would probably need
believe it would benefit substantially, and that party would probably
to have a House majority and the ability to cut off debate in the
with little help from the other party's senators. 


Mark S. Scarberry

Pepperdine University School of Law


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Mulshine [mailto:pmulshine at] 
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 12:37 PM
To: Sanford Levinson; Conkle, Daniel O.; conlawprof at 
Subject: Re: The End of the Electoral College?


I would like to note that as an alternative we should consider the
used by Maine, awarding electors by congressional district. Here in
we have the same problem as Texas; we tend to be ignored (though we
theoretically in play this year). A district system would assure
Also, it might tend to cause politicians to push for more competitive
districts. And unlike abolition of the college, this is feasible.


----- Original Message ----- 

From: Sanford <mailto:SLevinson at>  Levinson 

To: Paul <mailto:pmulshine at>  Mulshine ; Conkle,
<mailto:conkle at>  Daniel O. ; conlawprof at 
<mailto:conlawprof at>  

Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 3:22 PM

Subject: RE: The End of the Electoral College?





As a mere journalist, a columnist at the Star-Ledger of New Jersey who
what is I believe the first news account of that Colorado initiative
and its
potential impact, may I ask a simple question: Is this entire debate
irrelevant? I can see no possible scenario under which the small
would approve and amendment that would take away the disproportionate
they have under the current system. Can anyone see such a scenario?

Paul Mulshine

The Star-Ledger

 Isn't the correct answer that this entire debate IS, alas, irrelevant,
precisely the reasons that Paul Mulshine suggests.  Isn't this sad
conclusion just another illustration of the stupidity (perhaps
"perniciousness" is the more appropriate word) of Article V?


One of the worst features of the Electoral College, incidentally, is
that it
means that the candidates give no cogent speeches at all about issues
might matter to anyone in the non-battleground states.  We in Texas
might as
well be living in France for all the attention that either candidate
paying to "our" concerns.  I have no desire to have the voters of Ohio
Minnesota "virtually represent" me.  This is an idiotic system that no
country would adopt today (including, I would hope, our own, were we
on a clean slate).



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