Despite the Republican National Convention being less than a week away, the “Never Trump” movement has continued to stumble forward, losing momentum day-by-day as people grow tired of listening to Republicans hope for some sort of third party savior who will never materialize.
The Never Trump crowd was dealt a severe blow on Monday when a federal judge ruled that delegates have to vote according to the rules set forth in the primary — they can’t just vote for whomever they’d like. The anti-Trump folks had attempted to argue that the delegates should be free to vote for whoever they like because not allowing that somehow violated the First Amendment.
A press statement released by the Trump campaign stated that the court found no basis for this argument and that (shockingly) the delegates must follow the rules they agreed to.
“Specifically, the Court found that RNC Rule 16, which binds delegates based on their election results, ‘is in effect presently and that it controls the allocation and binding of delegates as to their voting at convention,’” read the Trump statement.
Here is the statement:
(New York) July 11, 2016 – Senior United States District Judge Robert E. Payne today ruled in favor of Trump campaign delegates who had argued – in line with overwhelming public opinion – that RNC delegates must follow election results and that delegates cannot be stolen at the national convention. Delegate Beau Correll, Jr., had brought the suit against the Commonwealth of Virginia hoping to reject the will of the voters, but was soundly defeated.
Specifically, the Court found that RNC Rule 16, which binds delegates based on their election results, “is in effect presently and that it controls the allocation and binding of delegates as to their voting at convention.” (p. 6) The Court held that the Plaintiff’s “expert testimony” from Erling ‘Curly’ Haugland was not credible, lacked “textual support,” (p.6) and that “delegates are bound by RNC Rule 16.” (p. 7)
Further, the Court found that by signing the “Declaration and Statement of Qualification,” RNC delegates are bound by RNC Rule 16(c)(2) (p. 10), and that this Declaration obligated Correll to vote in accordance with Republican Party rules and Virginia’s election results. (p. 46)
Trump Campaign Attorney and former FEC Chairman Don McGahn issued the following statement:
“The court has confirmed what we have said all along: Rule 16 is in effect and thus delegates, including Correll, are bound to vote in accordance with the election results. The court did not buy what Curly Haugland was selling, and noted that his testimony has no support in the rule’s text and was contradicted by his own book, Unbound. This case puts his unbound theory to rest, and is a fatal blow to the Anti-Trump agitators.”
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