electoral college, elector appointment clause, state legislature, popular initiative, california


This Note explores the constitutionality of a proposed popular initiative in California that would direct the manner in which the state appoints presidential electors. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution gives the state legislature the power to direct the manner in which the state appoints its presidential electors. The issue presented in this Note is whether a popular initiative qualifies as a “state legislature” under Article II, Section 1, Clause 2. To answer this question, this Note first examines the history of the Elector Appointment Clause, with respect to the Electoral College and in light of the Constitution's preference for representative lawmaking. Next, it explores the legal development of the clause's meaning and how the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the term “state legislature” in other constitutional provisions. This Note ultimately concludes that the lack of voter accountability for an initiative makes it susceptible to manipulation and inconsistent with the purpose of the Electoral College.

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