Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez spoke at Indiana University Law School this week. The name of the talk was The Lawyer’s Duty: Social Justice, Racial Justice, Economic Justice, but somehow Perez ended up discussing the Electoral College, and made a huge error in the process.
“The Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution,” Perez said. “It doesn’t have to be there.”
Except, the Electoral College is in the Constitution. Right here in Article II, to be exact:
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: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
Oh, poor Tom.
Perez may not like the Electoral College, given that fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election despite winning the popular vote in November, but we use it for a reason: it’s in the Constitution. So yes, it does have to be there, unless we pass an amendment to change this.
Listen to the gaffe here:
In any setting, this would be embarrassing, let alone one where students could literally have multiple copies of the Constitution at the time, be it in textbooks or pocket versions handed out in school. Hopefully professors used this moment as a teaching opportunity.
For the record, Perez has a law degree from Harvard, but after this error, the school may hope that he takes Anthony Scaramucci‘s advice and not bring it up too often.
[Image via CNN screengrab]