|

EC LEGAL MATERIALS

Browse Legal Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO

Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-1937-NYW
MICHEAL BACA, POLLY BACA, and ROBERT NEMANICH,
Plaintiffs
v.
WAYNE W. WILLIAMS, Colorado Secretary of State, in his individual capacity.
Defendant.


COMPLAINT


Defendant Wayne Williams, Colorado’s Secretary of State, under color of state law, threatened and intimidated Plaintiffs Micheal Baca, Polly Baca, and Robert Nemanich in the exercise of their federally protected rights as presidential Electors. This complaint seeks damages for this infringement of a fundamental federal right.

INTRODUCTION

  1. The United States Constitution secures to “Electors” the power to vote to select the President and Vice President of the United States.
  2. Colorado purports to control how an Elector exercises her franchise, by binding her, with the force of law, to vote for a particular candidate. See C.R.S. § 1-4-304.

End of Preview — Download full text HERE

Final Complaint for the Equal Electors Lawsuit

Download the full document

Our Current Project: Equal Votes

In a Democracy, All Votes Should Count Equally

In our democracy, when voting for the president, they do not

Because of the winner-take-all allocation of electoral votes, if you don’t vote for the candidate who wins your state, your vote counts for nothing. That violates the Constitution’s “one person, one vote” principle. Lawrence Lessig and an all-star legal team is filing a case in court to challenge this system. Join this fight for citizen equality.

Nov 20, 2020

Another Way To Elect A President: Election Follow-Up

In this final episode of "Another Way to Elect the President," we consider whether Trump's lawyers could successfully contest the election results. We pick apart their legal cases and the facts and fictions behind them to explain their underlying strategy.

Read Full Show Notes →

Nov 03, 2020

Live Election (and Beyond!) Special

In our election day special, we bring you a recording of our live conversation from October 30. We talked about the worries of this election day, but we also looked beyond the election to discuss the policy options on the table if Biden wins. While we await the results, we end our election day blitz of episodes on an optimistic note!

Read Full Show Notes →

Nov 02, 2020

Another Way To Elect A President: Jumping The Shark

In this last pre-election episode in our mini-series, we bat around a few outrageous scenarios. Will votes be tossed out en masse? Can the House just refuse to count any votes at all? Find out!

Read Full Show Notes →

Nov 02, 2020

Another Way To Elect A President: The VP's Role (Part 9)

In this last regular episode of our mini-series about the road to selecting a president, we are joined by David Fontana of GW Law to talk about the Vice President. What role does the Constitution give the Vice President in counting electoral votes? And can this be manipulated?

Read Full Show Notes →

Nov 01, 2020

Another Way To Elect A President: Contingent Elections (Part 8)

In today's episode of the mini-series, we discuss the House contingent election. It hasn't happened since 1824, but could it this year? What could trigger it? And what would happen if the House has to choose the President?

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 31, 2020

Another Way To Elect A President: The Death of a Candidate (Part 7)

In this episode in our mini-series, we answer the question: what happens if a candidate dies right before or after the popular vote? The answer: it could get complicated.

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 30, 2020

BONUS: National Popular Vote On The Ballot, with Dr. John Koza

In this bonus episode, Jason speaks with National Popular Vote founder Dr. John Koza. They discuss the problems with the electoral college, how it can be reformed with the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, and the importance of Tuesday's referendum on the issue in Colorado.

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 29, 2020

Another Way To Elect A President: The Electoral Count Act (Part 6)

In this episode, we speak with Professor Stephen Siegel, a Professor of Law at DePaul University, about the Electoral Count Act, which sets the rules for Congress when it counts electoral votes. We explain what happens if there is just one slate and how Congress might resolve a controversy if there are competing slates of electors from one state.

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 28, 2020

Another Way To Elect A President: The Presidential Electors (Part 5)

In this episode in our presidential election miniseries, we talk about the vote of the electoral college. Who are the electors, how do they cast their votes, and what could possibly go wrong?

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 27, 2020

Another Way To Elect A President: Can A State Legislature Overrule The Voters? (Part 4)

In this episode in our presidential election mini-series, we take a deep dive into 3 USC 2, a federal law that some way permits state legislatures to declare an election null and void and appoint presidential electors directly. We explain the true purpose of this law—spoiler alert: it wasn't to let states nullify elections—and discuss what arguments there might be if things go haywire next week. Matthew Seligman wrote about this recently at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/the-good-but-also-ominous-news-from-the-supreme-court-about-voting-in-pennsylvania.

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 26, 2020

Another Way To Elect The President: What Happens If It's Close In A State? (Part 3)

In this episode of our mini-series on presidential elections, we take a look at three examples of how states handled recounts in close elections. Are we in for a redo of Florida in 2000—or does Hawaii in 1960 provide a better example? A companion series of blog posts related to this episode can be found at http://takecareblog.com

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 22, 2020

Another Way To Elect The President: A Red Mirage? (Part 2)

In the next episode in our presidential election miniseries, we discuss election night itself. Will there be some states where early returns favor Trump even if Biden might win when all the votes are counted? If so, what can we do to mitigate any misunderstanding or misinformation from the media or the candidates?

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 18, 2020

Another Way To Elect The President: Part 1 (Intro)

In this episode, Larry Lessig introduces a mini-series that will appear in this feed between now and election day: Another Way To Elect The President. This intro provides some historical and legal background for what could be a presidential election unlike any other. Stay tuned for additional episodes.

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 15, 2020

Candidate Jake Auchincloss on Reforming Our Elections

This week, Larry speaks with Jake Auchincloss—candidate for Massachusetts’ 4th congressional district—about his victory in a heated primary, the need to reform how we elect candidates, and an in-depth discussion of some of the more obscure, but innovative proposals for campaign finance reform.

Read Full Show Notes →

Oct 02, 2020

Jon Ossoff's Fight for Georgia and Democracy

In this episode, Larry Lessig speaks with US Senate candidate Jon Ossoff about his campaign to represent Georgia, how his career as a journalist investigating corruption led him to run for office, his commitment to small-dollar public financing, and proposals to fix our broken democracy.

Read Full Show Notes →

Sep 21, 2020

Jason and Adam on Youth Voting Rights, and More

Equal Citizens' Jason Harrow and Adam Eichen discuss a case Jason's working on about age description in voting. They also talk about legal challenges to voting in general, with only about six weeks to go before the general election.

Read Full Show Notes →

Sep 04, 2020

Democracy Illustrated: A New Graphic Novel About Democracy

In this episode, Adam Eichen speaks with MapLight president Daniel Newman, who just authored a new graphic novel about democracy reform, Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy. The two discuss the book, accessibility in storytelling, and the movement for reform.

Read Full Show Notes →

Aug 27, 2020

Larry Lessig talk with Andrew Yang

Today, we bring you a recast of a recent of episode of Yang Speaks, in which Equal Citizens founder Larry Lessig spoke with Andrew Yang about how we can reform our democracy. They discuss dialing for dollars, the theory that "slow democracy" can improve our political discourse, the media's impact on our democracy, and more.

Read Full Show Notes →

Aug 07, 2020

Bonus: Selecting the President, Today and In The Future (Recast)

In this special episode, we bring you a recast of an episode of the Democracy Works podcast featuring Equal Citizens founder Larry Lessig. He appeared with Meredith McGehee, executive director of Issue One, and Michael Baranowski, associate professor of political science at Northern Kentucky University and host of The Politics Guys. They discussed the recent Supreme Court decisions about presidential electors, along with the future of reforming the Electoral College. It was hosted by Jenna Spinelle.

Read Full Show Notes →

Jul 24, 2020

Alan Khazei on our "Great Awakening"

Larry Lessig talks to Alan Khazei, who is running for Congress in the Massachusetts' Fourth District, about "democracy entrepreneurs," ending corruption, and how to build a broad coalition to fight for reform.

Read Full Show Notes →

Jul 10, 2020

Rep. Ro Khanna Thinks Ending Corruption Is Possible

U.S. Representative Ro Khanna speaks with Larry Lessig about his effort to reform our democracy, end corruption, and reduce the impact of money in politics. They talk about working with both Bernie, why Biden will sign reform, finding a way to a real "grand bargain" that can end corruption, and why it's important for activists to keep the pressure on Congress to pass reform. Support us on Patreon:

Read Full Show Notes →

Jul 02, 2020

Eight States Are Discriminating Against Young People

On this episode, Jason Harrow and Adam Eichen discuss a new report released by Equal Citizens and a coalition of scholars and organizations. It argues that eight states are unconstitutionally skewing voting rights in favor of older Americans. The two discuss the details of the report, its ramifications, and next steps. You can read the report at . Support us on Patreon:

Read Full Show Notes →

Jun 25, 2020

Professor John Gastil on Bringing Reason Back into Politics

This week, Larry Lessig talks with John Gastil, a Professor at the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, about how we can make better political decisions. They discuss the polarized media landscape and specific steps we can take to improve deliberation, understanding, and the use of reason. Support us on Patreon:

Read Full Show Notes →

Jun 19, 2020

The Remarkable Stories of Democracy Reform Victories in 2018

On this episode, journalist David Daley joins Adam Eichen to discuss his new book, Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy. To write the book, Daley embedded with democracy reform campaigns throughout the 2018 election cycle. Adam and Dave discuss their favorite success stories from the book and end with some thoughts about Daley's recent New York Times op-ed about the next frontier of gerrymandering. Purchase Unrigged: Read Daley's op-ed in the New York Times: Support us on Patreon:

Read Full Show Notes →

Jun 15, 2020

Adem Bunkeddeko on How To Finance Campaigns, and More

Larry Lessig talks to Congressional candidate Adem Bunkeddeko, who is a candidate for the Democratic nomination in New York's 9th District. They discuss his remarkable personal story and his support for vouchers that would revolutionize how politicians raise money. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

Read Full Show Notes →

Jun 11, 2020

Alex Morse on Congress's Fundraising Lifestyle

Equal Citizens founder Larry Lessig talks with Alex Morse, a candidate for Congress in the First District of Massachusetts, about how Congress really works. They talk about how fundraising permits Congresspeople to live above their means, and why it makes it hard for them to provide real solutions that would improve people's lives. He also explains why, without first reforming our democracy, we're not going to be able to make substantive progress on key policy priorities. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

Read Full Show Notes →

Jun 04, 2020

Mondaire Jones on Reforming Democracy From Congress

In today's episode, Larry Lessig launches a new "season" of Another Way and explains why we want to talk about reforming our democracy and ending corruption by speaking with folks in or running for Congress and in the media. Our first guest in the series is Mondaire Jones, who is a Democratic candidate for New York's 17th District. They discuss Jones's background, voting in a pandemic, how to take on big money in politics, and more. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

Read Full Show Notes →

May 28, 2020

The Supreme Court Arguments About Presidential Electors: Part 2

In the second part of a two-part series, we bring you the audio of the Supreme Court's hearing of Colorado Department of State v. Baca, the second of the "presidential elector" cases. The episode is introduced by Jason Harrow, who argued the case on behalf of the electors. The argument occurred on May 13. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

Read Full Show Notes →

May 28, 2020

The Supreme Court Arguments About Presidential Electors: Part 1

In the first part of a two-part series, we bring you commentary as well as the audio of the Supreme Court's hearing of Chiafalo v. Washington, one of the "presidential elector" cases. Professor Larry Lessig, who argued the case on behalf of the electors, begins the episode with an important preface, explanation of the case, and commentary on the argument. We then replay the audio of the Supreme Court hearing, which occurred on May 13. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

Read Full Show Notes →

May 07, 2020

The Presidential Electors From Colorado Go To the Supreme Court

On today's episode, we follow-up our conversation with electors from Washington by talking with three electors from Colorado. Mike Baca, Polly Baca, and Bob Nemanich are the three plaintiffs in the case of Colorado Department of State v. Baca, which will be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court by telephone on Wednesday, May 13. They describe how they came to be electors, what they were trying to do in 2016 when they contemplated voting for a candidate other than Hillary Clinton, and what it means to them to have the Supreme Court hear the case. Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/EqualCitizens

Read Full Show Notes →