How The Fight in the Rules Committee Ended – The Battle of the Binding
With nothing less than the integrity of the Republican Presidential nomination at stake, the battle lines were drawn between those who stood up for the millions of legitimate votes cast for Donald Trump, not allowing their personal opinions to take precedence over what was fair, just and just plain right, versus a small but disingenuous minority who were ready to cross any ethical line to put their own losing candidates back into the race.
This became The Battle of the Binding.
Ultimately the battle revolved around a decades long argument in the Republican Party that few outside the esoteric world of specialists in political party rules were much aware of. But this argument was the nexus around which the disenfranchise campaign would try to shred millions of votes and snatch a dark victory for their own purposes. This nexus was rooted in two obscure rules of the Party, Rule No. 37, which provides for a roll call vote under certain circumstances and Rule No. 38. which prohibits what is known as unit voting.
For well over forty years there had been hairsplitting arguments that these two rules prohibited the binding of delegates on the first ballot for President to cast their ballots the way the voters had decided. Without going into endless detail, suffice it to say that most Republican Party activists and officials had rejected these arguments as little more than asking how many parliamentary angels could dance on the head of a parliamentary pin – until powerful interests desperately grabbed onto it in a last ditch attempt to regain their control of the party.
This argument happened every four years. One side or another would win, but crucially, no one ever institutionalized a final decision, meaning that four years later the argument would start all over again. Until 2016, when it would be ended once and for all.
The Trump Campaign had an excellent and strong caucus in the Convention Rules Committee, but no one had proposed a solution that would be permanent. Finally, the night before the Rules Committee met, just minutes before the deadline of 10:00 PM, Laughlin Constable Jordan Ross, Nevada Delegate to the convention and one of two Nevada members of the rules committee, submitted two amendments to the rules.
Ross, who had been the leading expert of party rules in Nevada since 2008, wrote only a single sentence to insert into each rules, in fact identical sentences:
Nothing in this rule shall be construed to prohibit the binding of delegates pursuant to Rule No. 16(a).
The next day, shortly after the meeting began, several of the senior Trump Campaign officials assigned to the Rules Committee, approached the Constable and asked him to speak for the campaign in the committee proceedings along with Rhode Island Delegate Steve Frias. Ross successfully argued for his own amendments and argued against several others from the opposition, all of which went down to defeat.
And thus the right to vote was defended. The rules were adopted by the convention and Donald Trump became the 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee.