District Judge Robert E. Payne has delivered a narrow ruling that gives both sides in a dispute over the GOP convention a basis for claiming victory. Carroll Correll had brought a suit challenging a state law that dictates the apportioning of delegates to the convention.
Payne held that the state could not penalize a delegate for voting as he wished. But he did not embrace the idea that delegates had no obligation to heed party rules.
A good thing, that. As lawyers for the commonwealth argued, to do so would effectively render the results of primary elections null and void.
Moreover, any problem with Virginia’s law cannot erase the stubborn fact that Correll stood for election as a delegate not only after pledging to support the winner of the GOP primary in Virginia, but also knowing who that winner was: Trump.
Correll wishes Trump had not won. So do we, as a matter of fact. But rules are rules, and a promise is a promise — and they can’t work if anybody can change or ignore them after the fact.