Supreme Court hears arguments in Electoral College case

In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Supreme Court justices continued their third and final day of unprecedented oral arguments by telephone on Wednesday, grilling lawyers about whether states can replace electors planning to vote for a presidential candidate who didn’t win the popular vote in their state.

The court is hearing two cases involving the Electoral College, one from Colorado and the other from Washington state.

If electors were given total freedom about how to vote, “it would lead to chaos,” Justice Samuel Alito said, “where the popular vote is close and changing just a few votes would alter the outcome.

Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that tying states’ hands could open the door to fraud. “Can a state remove someone, for example, who openly solicits payments for his or her vote?”

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