Koller v. Brown, et al

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction

by Melody A. Kramer

This case concerns Plaintiff’s constitutional right to vote as an elector for whomever Plaintiffs believe to be the best and most qualified persons for the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States of America. Infringement of those rights would occur through Defendants’ ability to enforce California Election Code §§ 6906 and 18002 to possibly penalize Plaintiff for placing such vote. Presidential Electors are to act as a deliberative body, not merely placing ceremonial votes, but rather ensuring that only a person with the adequate qualifications for office be voted in as President of the United States.

This action is being taken within the context of the most unusual of circumstances in the history of our country, where an unprecedented number of politicians from both major political parties, national security experts, and academics have made impassioned cases demonstrating the unfitness of Donald J. Trump for the office of President and continuing evidence of his unfitness for office have been occurring on a daily basis even since the election. Even electors of his own Republican Party have publicly announcing that they cannot, in good conscience, place their presidential votes for Trump and Democratic electors in other states have publicly invited consideration of a compromise choice for president, a reasonable Republican.

Currently 29 states, including California, have state laws that bind presidential electors to do no more than place a ceremonial vote in accord with their party affiliation or pre-election pledge. Electors in at least two other states - Colorado and Washington – are also currently seeking relief from state statutes that interfere with their right to place their votes in the best interest of the country, even if they might not be consistent with their party affiliation.

Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits for the following reasons:

1. The Electoral College is superfluous if electors have no choice as to who they vote for

2. Coercion of any voters violates federal and state election laws (18 USC 594 and CA Election Code 18540(a)

3. Coercion of voting against electors from some states, but not others, results in a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

4. California's statute violates the First Amendment

The public has an interest in making sure that fit and competent leaders are elected. Electors in 21 states are free to choose to vote for themost viable, fit, and competent persons for office, even if those persons are not the candidates of their party. Plaintiff should have the same freedom. To force him to vote for candidates who may not prevail simply for the sake of party allegiance, which the State has no interest in, harms the public interest in making sure electors do their constitutional duty - elect fit, competent, and qualified candidates to the two top elected positions in the country.

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Reference Info: Pleadings | Federal, 9th Circuit, California | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Melody A. Kramer, Legal Greenhouse | Attorney Advertising

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Melody A. Kramer

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