Bob Herbert at the New York Times has an editorial today discussing the proposed California initiative to split the state’s electoral votes by congressional district.

The proponents of the initiative understand completely that a constitutional crisis could damage the nation’s democratic process and undermine the legitimacy of a presidential election. In their view that’s preferable to a Republican defeat.

The interesting tidbit in the article is this:

Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor and one of the nation’s pre-eminent constitutional scholars, believes the initiative is blatantly unconstitutional. “Entirely apart from the politics,” he said, “this clearly violates Article II of the Constitution, which very explicitly requires that the electors for president be selected ‘in such manner as the Legislature’ of the state directs.”

Yep. California voters can’t change how the state allocates electoral votes. The legislature has to. Here it is, Article II, Section I, of the U.S. Constitution:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress

This isn’t going to go away without a fight. Let’s hope reason and constitutionality win.