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“Georgia Electors Make Stand for Trump: ‘We Followed Federal Authority’

In a recent case before the Supreme Court of Georgia, ten of the sixteen electors appointed by President Donald Trump to the electoral college in the state of Georgia have argued that they acted under federal authority when they cast their votes in the 2020 presidential election. The electors appointed by Trump after his loss in Georgia argued that, when Federal laws and the Constitution of the United States do not limit electors’ discretion, their appointments and votes are binding. The electors contended that they were not obligated to serve the wishes of the state of Georgia, which had certified the election results in favor of Joe Biden, and instead argue that they were required to exercise their own discretion in the matter. Furthermore, the Trump electors argued that federal authority superseded those of the state in this case and that any decision by the State of Georgia to reject their votes would violate their rights to free exercise of their judgements as electors, contrary to the protections of the United States Constitution. The court ultimately found that the Trump electors were acting on the authority of their appointments by President Trump and thus acted under federal authority. The court acknowledged the power of the states to remove electors if they exceeded their duties or violated state law. However, in its ruling, the court noted that no such violation had occurred in this case. The Supreme Court of Georgia’s ruling serves as an important reminder that the constitutional authority of state governments is not absolute and can be constrained by federal authority. While the case of the Trump electors in Georgia may not have any wider implications, it is certainly a reminder that any significant challenge to an election’s results must be brought with an understanding of the roles of state and federal authority in the process.

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