Legal Team Led by LULAC and David Boies File Lawsuits Challenging Winner-Take-All Approach to Selecting Electors in Presidential Elections
Lawsuits filed in four states on behalf of multiple plaintiffs, including LULAC Texas, LULAC California and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld
Washington, D.C. – Today a coalition of law firms led by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s largest and oldest Latino civil rights organization, and David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP announced the filing of four landmark lawsuits challenging the winner-take-all method states use to allocate their Electoral College votes. By magnifying the impact of some votes and disregarding others, the winner-take-all system is not only undemocratic, but it also violates the Constitutional rights of free association, political expression, and equal protection under the law. These suits aim to restore those rights nationwide.
The non-partisan effort will draw on the resources of several law firms in advancing legal challenges in two states that are solidly blue, Massachusetts and California, and two others that are solidly red, South Carolina and Texas. All four suits are designed to uphold the Constitution’s guarantee that every vote—whether for a Republican, a Democrat, or third-party candidate—will be treated equally. The lawsuits were filed today on behalf of multiple plaintiffs in four states, including LULAC, which is joined in Texas by Reverend Joseph C. Parker Jr., a community leader whose father marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and one of the state’s most prominent constitutional scholars Dr. Sanford Levinson. In California, LULAC is joined by Republican actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez. Former Republican Governor William Weld is a plaintiff in Massachusetts.
LULAC National General Counsel Luis Vera said, "The winner-takes-all system is fundamentally flawed and holds the potential to eliminate the voice of the majority vote. LULAC has always been at the forefront of the fight against voter discrimination and suppression. We are proud to lead the largest lawsuit in the country with the Boies Schiller Flexner law firm to ensure that every voice in America is counted equally in our most important political elections."
The lawsuits filed today do not challenge the Electoral College system established by the Constitution; rather they challenge the winner-takes-all method states have chosen to select their electors. The suits aim to establish a more democratic system of voting for the President – one that counts each citizen’s vote equally and that creates incentives for candidates to campaign for the votes of all Americans, not just those who live in a few battleground states.
“Under the winner-take-all system, U.S. citizens have been denied their constitutional right to an equal vote in Presidential elections. This is a clear violation of the principle of one person, one vote. We filed these cases in order to uphold the rights of every citizen,” said BSF Chairman David Boies, “All Americans deserve to have their votes count.”
Two of the suits filed today also seek to remedy violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1964, alleging that the “winner-takes-all” system disenfranchises minority voters. The complaints show that the winner-take- all method has meant that the minority-preferred candidate for president has not been able to receive a single Elector since the 1970s in Texas and South Carolina, despite the fact that minority voters make up a significant portion of the electorate in each state.
Republican actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez said, “Regardless if you are a Republican, Democrat or any other political party, we can all agree that we want our vote to count. Under California winner-take-all method, the presidential candidate that wins the most votes in the state is awarded all of California’s 55 Electors. This is true regardless of whether the winning candidate has garnered 45% or 90% of the vote. This undermines our democracy and needs to be changed.”
In addition to the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and the Law Offices of Luis Roberto Vera, Jr. and Associates PC, the distinguished legal team bringing today’s challenges to the winner-take-all system includes attorneys from law firms across the country: Alston & Bird LLP, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Zelle LLP, Hausfeld LLP, Wittliff Cutter Austin PLLC, Guerrero & Whittle, PLLC, and Richard A. Harpootlian, P.A.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.