Texas can continue using winner-take-all to appoint presidential electors, a federal appellate court ruled Wednesday, dealing a blow to opponents of the current Electoral College system.
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Texas’ method of selecting Electoral College representatives, which is now used in all but two states. Texas has always chosen electors based on a statewide winner-take-all vote.
“The Fifth Circuit confirmed that Texas is in full compliance with the Constitution, which has clearly allowed for States to appoint electors as directed by the Legislature since 1789,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement following the ruling. “Texas elections remain free, fair, and lawful.”
The leftist League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) challenged the state’s method for appointing electors in 2018, claiming it violates the one-person, one-vote principle as well as the Voting Rights Act. The complaint was one of four coordinated lawsuits across the country alleging winner-take-all results in unconstitutional “vote dilution.”
A district court rejected LULAC’s arguments and granted the state’s motion to dismiss.
Wednesday’s appellate court opinion affirmed the lower court’s decision. A three-judge panel unanimously concluded any disadvantage plaintiffs alleged “is solely a consequence of their lack of electoral success.”
“Democratic elections necessarily result in winners and losers. The frustration of losing, however, does not violate the Constitution.”