The US Supreme Court is about to take on a new election case, a Republican-led challenge asking the justices for a new ruling that could significantly increase the power of state lawmakers in congressional and presidential races.
The land’s highest court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday in a North Carolina case where Republican efforts to draw congressional districts heavily in their favor were blocked by a Democratic majority in the state Supreme Court as the GOP The map violated the state constitution.
Last month’s midterm elections in highly competitive North Carolina yielded seven seats for each party in a court-drawn map.
The question for the judges is whether the provision in the U.S. Constitution that gives state legislatures the power to set rules for the “time, place, and manner” of congressional elections excludes state courts from the process.
“This is the most important case about American democracy – and for American democracy – in the nation’s history,” said former federal judge Michael Luttig, a prominent conservative who was part of the legal team defending the court’s decision from North Carolina. have become
Republican leaders in the North Carolina legislature told the Supreme Court that “the carefully crafted lines of the Constitution placed the regulation of federal elections in the hands of state legislatures, Congress, and no one else.”
Three conservative justices have already expressed some support for the view that the state court had usurped constitutional powers with respect to federal elections. A quarter wrote approvingly of limiting the power of state courts in this area.
But the Supreme Court has never applied what is known as the independent state legislature doctrine. However, it was mentioned in a separate opinion by three conservatives in the Bush v. Gore case that settled the 2000 presidential election.
If the court accepts it now, opponents of the concept argue that the effects could be much broader than simple redistribution.
According to the Brennan Center, the most powerful rule for North Carolina Republicans could undermine more than 170 state constitutional provisions, over 650 state laws handing election policy-making authority over to state and local officials, and thousands of regulations, including the location of vote centers Is. for Justice at New York University School of Law.