The National Popular Vote (“NPV”) movement is designed to eliminate the federalist impact of the Electoral College without amending the Constitution. By fashioning an interstate compact to grant participating states’ electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, NPV proponents suppose they can induce states to forfeit their electoral “weights” and replace the current, federalist election process with a fully majoritarian one. But by leaving the Electoral College in place, the NPV movement is setting itself up for a double pushback: first, in the form of immediate legal resistance, and second, through states’ long-term involvement in a meaningfully intact federalist system. This Comment argues that the NPV will fail to institutionalize a majoritarian election process and that a constitutional amendment is necessary to eliminate the Electoral College’s federalist impact. Applying sociological theory, this Comment concludes that proponents of abolishing the Electoral College by constitutional amendment should aim to “dis-embed” pro- Electoral College federalist theory by implementing a compelling majoritarian alternative. It explains why the NPV has not accomplished this task and how future efforts should proceed differently.
Daniel P. Rathbun,
Ideological Endowment: The Staying Power of the Electoral College and the Weaknesses of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact,
Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr_fi/vol106/iss1/8