A federal judge dealt a severe setback Monday to a longshot plan to deny Donald Trump the presidency through the Electoral College, refusing to suspend a Colorado law requiring the state's nine electors to vote for the presidential candidate who won the state in November.
U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel denied a request by two Colorado electors who contended that the law binding their vote to Colorado vote winner Hillary Clinton violated their First Amendment rights and the intents of the Constitution's framers. The electors had sought the right to vote for someone other than Clinton in order to unite behind a consensus Republican other than Trump when the Electoral College convenes on Dec. 19.
Daniel found that suspending the Colorado requirement would have harmed the state's voters and jeopardized a peaceful presidential transition. "Part of me thinks this is really a political stunt to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president," said Daniel, who was nominated to the bench by Bill Clinton in 1995.
If the Colorado electors had been successful, it could have signaled that similar laws in more than two dozen other states could also be overturned, freeing a large number of electors to defect from Trump. Jason Wesoky, who represents the two electors, said he may seek an emergency appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals — the only chance his clients would have of blocking the Colorado law before they have to cast their votes.