electoral college vote program Arizona LawThere’s no better sign that the holidays are over than that calendars fill once again with compelling presentations and talks. In the coming week, I’ll share some news from two Arizona law schools about their noteworthy offerings.

Today, news from the University of Arizona Law School and its upcoming program on the electoral college. Here is how the school describes the January 24 presentation:

Vikram Amar and Michael Paulsen will discuss recent efforts to abolish the Electoral College and shift to a national popular vote for president in a presentation titled ‘The National Popular Vote: The End of the Electoral College?’ to be held at the College of Law on January 24, 2013, Noon – 1:15 p.m., Ares Auditorium (Room 164).”

Vikram Amar

Vikram Amar

“In the wake of the 2000 election, frustrated with the Electoral College, Vikram Amar and his brother, noted constitutional scholar Akhil Amar, helped to originate a plan called the National Popular Vote (NPV) Interstate Compact. They theorized that the Electoral College could be abolished without a constitutional amendment if states with a majority of Electoral College votes pledged to award their electoral votes to the popular vote winner. Because the Constitution specifically calls for states to choose the manner in which they select their electors, the Amar brothers argued that this would be constitutional. Most constitutional scholars, including Professor Paulsen, agree with this interpretation.”

Michael Paulsen

Michael Paulsen

“Since 2000, nine states representing 132 electoral votes (49% of those needed for the 270 majority) have passed NPV legislation. Two other states that represent 49 electoral votes have proposed legislation to join the NPV compact. Additionally, in the wake of the presidential election this past fall, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer proposed eliminating the Electoral College.”

“Associate Dean Amar and Professor Paulsen will discuss the history of the Electoral College, the specifics of the NPV Interstate Compact, and the implications of eliminating the Electoral College.”

Arizona Law logoYou can read more detail here. I’ll be pleased to hear from Associate Dean Amar, who was a terrific professor at my law school, UC Hastings, before he drove up the road (and the deanship scale) to UC Davis. It will be fascinating to hear speakers on the possibility of undoing an institution like the Electoral College.