Episode 117: ADM for Oct. 6, 2022: What are the Impacts if the U.S. Supreme Court Majority Embraces the Independent State Legislature Theory?


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Today’s Links


Brennan Center for Justice - Moore v. Harper, Explained
The Atlantic - Is Democracy Constitutional?
Politico - Supreme Court to hear 2 cases with major implications for 2024
PBS NewsHour - How the outcome of Moore v. Harper could impact federal elections
League of Women Voters US - State Legislature Seeks Unchecked Power over Elections in Moore v. Harper
Arizona Mirror - Brnovich joins 12 other GOP AGs in ‘independent state legislature’ case
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.

We’ve been spending time this week on the origins & outline of Moore vs. Harper, the important Supreme Court case testing a fringe Constitutional doctrine called the “Independent State Legislature” theory. If embraced by the majority, it could alter American Democracy as we’ve known it for 235 years.

At stake is whether state legislatures have ultimate authority over elections: Higher authority than federal statutes and courts, higher than state supreme courts, and higher than a Governor’s veto. The U.S. Supreme Court has already said in 2019 that only state courts have the authority to decide partisan redistricting and gerrymandering cases. That decision essentially greenlighted widespread gerrymandering in the 2020 redistricting process.

The Brennan Center for Justice and other scholars suggest that with unchecked power, legislatures could change the slate of electors for a Presidential election, or overturn election results. Ballot initiatives could be nullified. State legislatures could ignore the U.S. or state constitution’s voting rights provisions and establish new, more draconian barriers to voting. Existing state laws like early voting or voting by mail could be repealed without the check of a gubernatorial veto.

In short, the impact of Moore v. Harper could reshape American democracy, and it could be one of the most consequential and destructive Supreme Court decisions of our time.

More on the case and groups taking action can be found at American Democracy Minute.org. For the American Democracy Minute, I’m Brian Beihl.

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