On the final day of its 2021 term, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case in 2022 that could upend election laws around the country and have major implications for democracy in the United States. Moore v. Harper, out of North Carolina, is centered on how much power state legislatures have over the running of congressional and presidential elections.Republican state lawmakers are pushing a fringe legal theory, arguing that the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures ultimate power over how elections are run, without any checks and balances from state constitutions or state courts.
Legal scholars, including Dean Vikram Amar of Illinois Law, are extremely concerned about the possibility of SCOTUS embracing this theory. He spoke to NPR about the issue.
"It is really a grave danger to American democracy to say that state legislatures are free from state constitutions to do whatever they want," says Amar, who co-wrote an article for the Supreme Court Review at the University of Chicago about how the theory goes against an originalist understanding of the U.S. Constitution. "State constitutions are an important source of American democracy, limits and rights. And I think it would be terrible if the U.S. Supreme Court distorted federalism to reject that very important premise."
Read the full article at npr.org.
See also: "Supreme Court to Hear Case on State Legislatures’ Power Over Elections" (New York Times)
See also: "Supreme Court to take on controversial election-law case" (NPR)