Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Delegates Imprisoned

Republican, convention, delegates, unbound,

Can you go to jail for voting for the wrong person?

We may find out today, in a federal court in Richmond, Virginia. Judge Robert Payne will hear motions in the case of Correll v. Herring. Attorney General Mark Herring is being sued in his official capacity by Beau Correll, a Republican delegate who refuses to vote for Donald Trump.

Correll is the named plaintiff in this class action challenge to a Virginia statute that binds delegates attending presidential nominating conventions to vote for the plurality winner of their state party primary, which was Mr. Trump.

The penalty for not tallying for Trump? As much as a year behind bars. And a fine.

Correll’s attorney, David Rivkin with Baker & Hostetler, has asked the judge to issue an injunction blocking enforcement of the statute against Correll and all other Virginia delegates. The ruling wouldn’t affect delegates beyond Virginia, yet the implication would be obvious: state laws binding party delegates to vote according to the primary results are unconstitutional.

Trump supporters aren’t taking this lawsuit lightly; several have moved to intervene — on the side of the AG. They’re right to be concerned: a delegate revolt to dump Trump has been brewing for weeks. And the legal precedents are all on the side of political parties controlling their own nominating process, leaving state governments no legitimate role.

It’s long past time to break the crony connections between government and the two major political parties.

Let’s stop all taxpayer subsidies for party primaries and conventions. But let’s also recognize that the delegates meeting in convention should be free to do . . . well, whatever they choose. After all, it’s their party.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

BIG PICTURE: Why the case really matters!

With the results of Correll vs. Herring, we may also find out if the Republican and Democratic (and Libertarian and Green) Parties are private organizations, with First Amendment protection for their freedom to associate without government interference. Nothing could be more heavy-handed than threatening delegates with incarceration if they vote their conscience — or even follow the state party’s rules, which call for delegates to be awarded proportionately rather than winner-take-all as Virginia’s statute requires.

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Republican, convention, delegates, unbound,


By: CS Admin


  1. Brian wright says:

    Your points are right on, Paul, as far as principles go. But… practically the party org in VA decided or officially conceded to impose the winner take all rule. This should not be a court case, and the party org can just revoke that fellow’s credentials. IMHO, Mr. Trump is the best candidate of all the parties, because he has the greatest chance to at least slow down the New World Order juggernaut. 

  2. Steven Sass says:

    I am all with you on Party expenses are Party responsibility, BUT voting by Delegate – IF HE/SHE is PLEDGED on ballot, MUST be enforced — that is a CONRACT and delegate can NOT unilaterally change it!

  3. Michael Loots says:

    For years politicians have complained about voter turn out. When one judge over rides millions of votes. Politicians that don’t even attempt what they promised during their campaign. Not following the primary results for at least one round of voting could be the last straw. We had an election and no one showed up.

  4. Paul Jacob says:

    There was no pledge on a ballot in this case. No contract made to my knowledge. That would indeed be a different matter, though it would be handled as a tort, and not criminally.

    Michael — Voters have a right to be angry. The media played up the primaries as something they are not, according to the actual rules, and even worse, so did RNC officials in DC. But I think these GOP delegates and grassroots leaders have a right to follow the rules.

  5. Vic Justes says:

    It seems to me that Mr. Correll can certainly vote his conscience, during the general election, or at any other time when he has not contractually agreed to vote in accordance with the rules of the VA GOP. I assume that he agreed to those rules without being under duress when he agreed to stand for election as a delegate.
    To me, he sounds like a kid who insists on a do-over when thrown out at first base.

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