On Friday tenth district national delegate Beau Correll filed a class action lawsuit in federal court challenging the Virginia law that compels delegates at the Republican convention to support the primary candidate winner on the first ballot.
Correll is challenging the law on behalf of 49 Republican delegates and 110 Democrats. The law reads:
“Delegates and alternates shall be bound to vote on the first ballot at the national convention for the candidate receiving the most votes in the primary unless that candidate releases those delegates and alternates from such vote.”
Correll’s complaint says,
“The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees delegates to the Republican Party’s and Democratic Party’s national conventions the right to vote their conscience, free from government compulsion, when participating in the selection of their party’s presidential nominee. Nonetheless, Virginia law acts to strip them of that right, imposing criminal penalties on delegates who vote for anyone other than the primary winner on the first ballot at a national convention. That law cannot be sustained under the First Amendment or as a legitimate exercise of Virginia’s authority under the United States Constitution.”
The full complaint is here.
Correll’s lawyers have also filed an injunction saying Correll will need protection from prosecution because he intends to vote against Trump at the convention.
“Correll, like many other Republicans, refuses to cast his first-ballot vote—or any other vote—for Virginia primary winner Donald Trump because Correll believes that Trump is unfit to serve as President of the United States. Yet, if he does not vote for Trump, he faces criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment,” they write in the injunction.”
A ruling in Correll’s lawsuit could free Virginia delegates to vote their choice for President at the convention. Delegates in other states are filing similar lawsuits.