The National Popular Vote Plan is an interstate Compact. This means that participating states voluntarily agree to enter into a legally enforceable compact.
This is not a new concept in America. In fact, compacts were part of the nation’s fabric even before the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (the precursor to the U.S. Constitution), four interstate compacts were established.
In 1859, The U.S. Supreme Court in Petty v. Tennessee-Missouri Bridge Combination affirmed that “compact is after all, a contract.” Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution asserts: No state shall . . . pass any . . . Law impairing the obligation of contracts.” Accordingly, these contracts are legally binding on states.
Numerous Interstate Compacts are currently enforced. Examples include the Potomac Valley Compact, the Snake River Compact, and the Kansas-Missouri Flood Prevention Control Compact.
The Council of State Governments asserts: “Once enacted, compacts may not be unilaterally renounced by a member state, except as provided by the compacts themselves. Moreover, Congress and the courts can compel compliance with the terms of interstate compacts.”
Accordingly, interstate compacts are anything but exotic and fishy. Interstate compacts are not uncommon, and are Constitutionally permissible.