The Wider World

States may bind electors: court

SUPREME COURT building in Washington, D.C. (Wikipedia).

“Faithless electors” take heed: the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that states can compel those chosen to the Electoral College to vote in favor of whichever candidate won the popular vote in their state.

According to the Associated Press, there are 32 states (and the District of Columbia) that now have laws binding electors to support the pick of the voters in their state.

It’s commonplace for electors to do just that, but from time to time there have been defectors – termed “faithless electors” – to back someone other than their party’s candidate.

It hasn’t changed the outcome of any presidential elections, but the potential exists. In 2000, Republican George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore, but won the Electoral College with 271 votes, one over the minimum of 270.

The president and vice president are not chosen by popular vote, although the winner there usually also wins the Electoral College, where it’s a winner-take-all in each state. In 2000 and 2016, though, the popular vote victor did not achieve a majority in the Electoral College.

Dakota pipeline hits a legal barrier

The Dakota Access oil pipeline must be shut down until an environmental impact review can be conducted, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

According to United Press International, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered the closure to happen within the next 30 days. He also ordered a re-examination of the risks of the project and the preparation of an EIR.

Monday’s ruling was a triumph for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.  “This pipeline should never have been built there,” said Mike Faith, chair of the tribe. “We told them that from the beginning.”

Progress on the project was halted during the Obama administration over environmental concerns, but resumed under the Trump administration.

Also in the news ….

Country rock star Charlie Daniels died at 83 years old. He’s best known for the 1979 hit ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” • Rapper Kanye West has announced he will run for president this year. A former supporter of President Donald Trump, West is married to celebrity Kim Kardasian . . .

Still “knee-deep” in coronavirus?

The nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Monday that the U.S. was still “knee-deep in the first wave” of the coronavirus pandemic, according to The New York Times.  He added that the level of new cases “never really got down to where we wanted to go.”

The number of confirmed worldwide cases of COVID-19 is now at 11,565,541, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus count.

Leading by nation is the United States with 2,922,000, followed by Brazil with 1,623,284, India with 697,413, Russia with 686,777 and Peru with 305,703.

Global deaths are now at 536,658, led by the United States with 130,208, followed by Brazil with 65,487, United Kingdom/Great Britain with 44,321, Italy with 34,869 and Mexico with 30,639.

This Monday not bringing Wall Street down

Some folks don’t care much for the first day of the workweek, but investors are liking this Monday. The three major stock exchanges all posted healthy gains.

  • Dow Jones Average: up 459.67 to 25,287.03 for an increase of 1.78 percent.
  • S&P 500: up 49.71 to 3,179.72 (1.59 percent).
  • Nasdaq: up 226.02 to 10,433.65 (2.21 percent).

Gold was up 0.12 percent and oil up 0.17 percent.

Summer makes its late arrival

With the July 4th holiday behind us we are now into real summer.  Highs today (Monday) hit 87 in the West Orange County area, with sunny weather yielding to some fog after 11 p.m. Nighttime lows will dip to 64 degrees. Tuesday will see some cooling to 82 during the day with a low of 63 with increasing clouds, according to the National Weather Service. Highs will bounce up and down the rest of the week from 79 on Wednesday and 85 on Friday. As always, highs will be about five to seven degrees lower at the beaches.

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