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Two words: Game. On.

Yes, this week, after months of writing legal briefs in all four of our cases challenging winner-take-all in the electoral college, we had the first oral argument in any of our Equal Votes cases—and I'm more optimistic about this campaign after seeing the team in action than I was before. As expected, lead counsel Davie Boies was stellar; also as expected, the State of California did not have a persuasive answer for why it should be allowed to throw away millions of votes each Presidential election year when it awards all of its 55 electoral votes to a single candidate. The federal judge hearing our cases did not give us a ruling on the State's motion to dismiss our case, so we're now playing the waiting game. But I'm hopeful.

Here's a quick summary of what went down at the new federal courthouse on a particularly toasty Tuesday in Los Angeles. Our all-star team of lawyers from Boies Schiller and the renowned California firm of Munger Tolles & Olson arrived in the courtroom ready to rock. When our case was called for argument at around 11:30 am, David immediately went to the podium to present to the court our arguments for why the winner-take-all system violates both the "one person, one vote" principle and the First Amendment's rights of political speech and association. As David succinctly put it to the court, our Republican clients have no opportunity to have their votes counted in California. And, as David says, everyone knows their votes don't count: that's why no candidate has campaigned in California for years even though there are many millions of voters here. That just cannot be constitutional.

A lawyer from the California Attorney General's office then got a chance to respond. She told the court that California acknowledges that the Equal Protection Clause applies to presidential elections—and that's an important acknowledgment—but she said that winner-take-all complies with "one person, one vote" because every vote for president is nominally counted equally. Of course, in saying that every vote is equal, she ignored the obvious point that, right after it counts all the votes, it tosses out millions and nominates a one-party slate of electors. In our Republic, people have a right to cast a meaningful vote, not just a vote that goes from the voting booth straight into the trash can. We just need the court to recognize that the Constitution doesn't let states throw away so many votes.

After the state's lawyer finished, the judge recessed for about 20 minutes before asking a few more questions, but then she told us that she'd be taking the case under submission and would give us a ruling at some later date. She was engaged with the argument and is clearly taking our case seriously.

So what next? Well, now cross our fingers about the California case, and we turn our focus to the hard work of convincing courts and the public of our argument. And we get ready for the next hearing, which will most likely be in Massachusetts in August. Thanks for your help so far.

With optimism,

Jason Harrow
Chief Counsel
Equal Citizens

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