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EC LEGAL MATERIALS

Levi Guerra, Esther V. John, and Peter B. Chiafalo v. Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings

Petitioners’ Reply Brief, December 12, 2017

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON IN AND FOR THURSTON COUNTY

In the matter of:

Levi Guerra, Esther V. John, and Peter B. Chiafalo,
Petitioners.

v.

Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings

Respondent

NO. 17-2-02446-34
SECRETARY OF STATE’S RESPONDING BRIEF

Cause No. 17-2-02446-34

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE
HEARINGS, Docket Nos.
  010424
  010422
  010421

PETITIONERS’ REPLY BRIEF

NO. 17-2-02446-34
SECRETARY OF STATE’S RESPONDING BRIEF

I. INTRODUCTION

Petitioners Peter Bret Chiafalo, Levi Jennet Guerra, and Esther Virginia John were each fined by the State of Washington solely for exercising their constitutional rights as presidential electors to “vote by Ballot” for presidential candidates of their choosing. See U.S. Const. art. II. As Petitioners explained in their opening brief, the imposition of these unprecedented fines—the first ever issued to presidential electors on these grounds in our Nation’s history—violate the Constitution, because the text and history of the Constitution make clear that presidential electors must be given the freedom to cast votes for whomever they please, subject only to the narrow constraints contained in the Constitution itself.

The State does not meaningfully dispute this original purpose. Nor could it: as the Supreme Court said over a century ago, “it was supposed [by the Framers] that the electors would exercise a reasonable independence and fair judgment in the selection of the Chief Executive.” McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1, 36 (1892). No constitutional amendment has altered that freedom. Nor has any Supreme Court opinion. It therefore still exists.

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