Dear Electors, you are not cogs

Lessig
2 min readDec 19, 2016

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You were created by our Founders for a reason. Not to be cogs in a wheel, but to be men and women exercising judgment.

Over 56 elections, we have not needed that judgment. We do now.

The politicians will tell you, “It’s not your job.” They will tell you “shut up and vote.” These people who think party-over-country want you to do nothing more than be the rubber stamp that they need you to be.

They’ll say, “you took a pledge.” And you did. They’ll say, “that pledge creates a moral obligation.” And it does. They’ll say, “that obligation makes this easy—vote as you are told.”

But it doesn’t make this easy. Because that’s not your only moral obligation. You also have an obligation to the Constitution. And to your fellow citizens. And to your God. And to yourself.

Every intelligence agency of our government has now concluded that the Russians intervened in our elections. You deserve to see their reports before you vote.

Because if those reports conclude that the Trump campaign knew or colluded with the Russians, then whether treason or not, that fact is plainly disqualifying. If Mr. Trump did collude, he is compromised. If he worked with a foreign government to influence our elections, then he can no longer work for our interests alone—because he will always know that foreign government can destroy him politically.

You’ve been told you can’t have those reports before you vote—as if they have the power here.

But they don’t have the power. You do.

You have the legal right to vote your conscience. Obviously. This is not Russia. That’s the clear meaning of the Supreme Court in Ray v. Blair (1952). It is the clear implication of the decision by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals just last week.

Those decisions mean you have the right—granted and secured by our Constitution—to tell them: “No report, no vote.”

Or “if no report, then I abstain.”

Or “Resolved: We the electors of __ will not vote until we are briefed about the Russian invasion of our democracy.”

The worst thing that could happen is that the House of Representatives will have to decide. They’ve done that before. They can do it again. The Republicans control the House. Let the administration tell them they can’t see the reports. And if they decide in the dark, then ok. Let it be on their conscience.

Do the right thing. Be the conscience the Framers meant you to be. We have your back. Do the same for us.

With enormous respect—for how difficult this decision must be.

And with gratitude—as citizens, for your service.

Signed, us.

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