Episode 115: The Moore vs. Harper "Independent State Legislature Theory" Case May Have Dramatic Consequences for American Democracy
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The Moore vs. Harper "Independent State Legislature Theory" Case May Have Dramatic Consequences for American Democracy
Brennan Center for Justice - Moore v. Harper, Explained
American Redistricting Project - Timeline and Document Submissions for Moore v. Harper
Politico - Supreme Court to hear 2 cases with major implications for 2024
The Atlantic - Is Democracy Constitutional?
Groups Taking Action:
League of Conservation Voters NC, Common Cause NC, Democracy Docket, Campaign Legal Center
You’re listening to the American Democracy Minute, keeping YOUR government by and for the people.
This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in what is shaping up to be a landmark case in election law, Moore vs. Harper. On its face it’s about gerrymandering in North Carolina. But its decision may reshape U.S. elections, giving state legislatures ultimate power over election law.
After the North Carolina legislature gerrymandered Congressional districts locking in 10 of 14 seats to the GOP, the North Carolina Supreme Court threw out the maps as unconstitutional. But the GOP filed suit, using the “independent state legislature theory” to argue that language in the Elections Clause in the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures ultimate authority over elections - including redistricting, conducting elections and most alarmingly, voting rights.
The theory is based on early arguments by a minority of the framers, and uses an interpretation of the Elections Clause that most constitutional scholars have dismissed as fringe. Until now. Four of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices – Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh — recently voiced support for the theory in other cases. The positions of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett are still unclear.
More on the roots of the Independent State Legislature theory, and its use of a document that the country’s founders even thought was suspect, in our next report. We have links to details on the case and groups taking action at AmericanDemocracyMinute.org.
Granny D said, “Democracy is not something we HAVE, it’s something we DO!”
For the American Democracy Minute, I’m Brian Beihl.