Supreme Court considers ‘most important cases’ on democracy

Washington (AP) — supreme court trying to face a new election case Republican-led challenge We ask our judges for new rulings that could significantly increase the power of state legislators over elections to Congress and President.

In North Carolina, Republicans tried to win a Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court because the Republican map violated the state constitution, but the Republican majority blocked it.

a Map drawn in court yielded seven seats for each political party During last month’s midterm elections in highly competitive North Carolina.

The question for judges is whether the provisions of the US Constitution that give state legislatures the power to make rules about “when, where and how” legislative elections exclude state courts from the process.

Michael Luttig, a prominent conservative former federal judge who joined the legal team defending the North Carolina court’s ruling, said, “This is important for American democracy and for American democracy. It is the most important event in the

Republican leaders in the North Carolina legislature told the Supreme Court that the constitution’s “carefully drawn lines leave the regulation of federal elections in the hands of the legislature, the legislature, and no one else.” said.

Three conservative justices have already voiced their support for the idea that state courts have improperly exercised their constitutional powers in federal elections. A fourth commented in favor of limiting the power of state courts in this area.

However, the Supreme Court has never invoked what is known as the Independent Legislature Theory. However, it was mentioned in another opinion by his three conservatives in the Bush v. Gore case that ended in the 2000 presidential election.

If the courts allow it now, opponents of the concept argue that its effects could be far more widespread than a mere redistricting.

According to the Brennan Center, the most powerful rulings for North Carolina Republicans lead to more than 170 state constitutional provisions, more than 650 state laws that delegate power to state and local officials to determine election policy, and polling place locations. Potential to undermine thousands of regulations.Master of Laws from New York University Law School.

Luttig, Who advised former Vice President Mike Pence? His lack of power to deny electoral votes after the 2020 election means he cannot challenge legislatures in state courts when making decisions on federal elections, including re-elections for Congress. One of the prominent Conservatives and Republicans who opposes a wide range of allegations. .

That group includes former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, law professor Stephen Calabresi, Conservative Federalist Association founder Benjamin Ginsberg, Republican candidate and longtime attorney for the party. .

“Unfortunately, trust in our elections is eroding due to continued and widespread efforts to sow seeds of mistrust and spread disinformation,” Ginsburg wrote in a Supreme Court filing. increase. It threatens to make a bad situation worse, exacerbate the current moment of political polarization, and further undermine confidence in elections. “

The debate will take place the day after the final contest for the 2022 midterm elections. Georgia Senate Runoff Vote Between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.

In that contest, a state court ruled in favor of Democrats to allow voting on the Saturday before the election, against Republican opposition.

Jason Snead of the Conservative Honest Elections Project said the case was under pressure by Democratic lawyers to effectively create new rules governing voting, including the case in Georgia. He said it was an opportunity to curb the out-of-control state courts.

“Attempts to use the courts to rewrite electoral laws when they do not fit partisan agendas are quite prevalent,” Snead said on a conference call with reporters. “When it comes to the Constitution, that’s not what we want to see.”

He is one of the supporters of the High Court’s intervention, which argues that the case does not represent a “threat to democracy.”

A group of New York voters wrote in court filings by a group of New York voters.

New Yorkers tacitly recognize that Republicans do not necessarily benefit if courts give state legislatures more power than they do to draw congressional boundaries.

During the last redistricting cycle, the states that used independent redistricting commissions rather than legislative bodies were predominantly Democratic-controlled states. In states with Democratic legislatures and governors, he won 95 seats, compared to just 12 seats in Republican-controlled states. A ruling that gives Congress ultimate authority over redistricting would likely eradicate those committees and allow Democrats to redraw much of the House map.

“The bottom line is that the impact of this peripheral theory is terrible,” said former Attorney General Eric Holder, chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Commission. “It could unleash a wave of gerrymandering from both parties.”

Even less dramatic changes may not necessarily change the direction of the Republican Party.

The Supreme Court declined to intervene in the North Carolina case in March, allowing the court-tied district to be used this year.

Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas dissented. Writing for the trio, Alito said, “There must be some limits to the power of state courts to reverse actions taken by state legislatures when they lay down the rules for the conduct of federal elections. No. I think the applicant has a good chance of succeeding in showing that the North Carolina Supreme Court has exceeded these limits.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote separately about the need for federal courts to crack down on state court actions when it comes to federal elections.

Chief Justice John Roberts’ record on the matter offers some hope for both sides. In 2015, he wrote a strong dissenting opinion against the court’s decision to uphold Arizona’s Independent Re-election Commission.

Roberts said the Constitution “does not allow states to exclude the ‘legislative branch’ entirely from redistricting.”

But in 2019, Roberts wrote a court majority opinion that while federal courts were closed over allegations of partisan gerrymandering, state courts remained open. We can provide the standards and guidance that the courts apply,” he wrote in an opinion joined by Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Thomas.

Another conservative justice on the court, Amy Coney Barrett, has no track record in the field.

North Carolina is expected to move forward with re-districting next year, creating a map that includes more Republican districts, regardless of the outcome of the appeals court case.

In last month’s election, voters overturned the majority on the state Supreme Court and elected two new Republican judges to give the Republican party a 5-2 advantage, and while it’s not a certainty, the courts will likely win more Republican elections. Increased the likelihood of supporting maps with wards.


Associated Press writers David A. Reeve of Jefferson City, Missouri, Nicholas Ricardi of Denver, and Gary D. Robertson of Raleigh, North Carolina contributed to this report.