U.S. Supreme Court to Consider North Carolina Redistricting Case, Potentially Paving Way for State Legislatures to Sabotage Federal Elections
After allowing Louisiana to use maps that dilute Black voting power, the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear case that could fundamentally alter the role of state courts in protecting voters
Washington, D.C. – Mark Gaber, senior director of redistricting at Campaign Legal Center, issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Moore v. Harper, a redistricting case in North Carolina that is based on the fringe “independent state legislature” theory. The decision to take up Moore v. Harper is the latest in a series of Supreme Court decisions that will have long-term consequences for the health of American democracy.
“Voters should be the ones who decide elections, not politicians in state legislatures. The Supreme Court’s decision to take up next term the fringe independent state legislature theory could shield state legislatures from being checked by state courts in matters of voting laws. This could pave the way for bad faith politicians to manipulate election maps and laws to suit their political interests instead of the interests of voters.
The Supreme Court issued another blow to voters on Tuesday in the Ardoin v. Robinson decision that blocked the creation of a second Black opportunity congressional district in Louisiana, further undermining the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act and denying voters of color the opportunity to elect representatives of their choice.
Campaign Legal Center remains committed to achieving a democracy that is inclusive, transparent and accountable so that voters can have a voice in the political process and feel confident their vote counts.”
This morning, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Moore v. Harper next term. The case focuses on gerrymandered district maps in North Carolina that the North Carolina Supreme Court previously struck down for violating the state’s constitution.
The basis of the argument in Moore v. Harper is a fringe legal concept that state legislatures have the ultimate authority under the U.S. Constitution to set and change election laws, even if those laws violate the state’s constitution. Political actors invoked the so-called independent state legislature theory ahead of the January 6 attack on our country, in an unsuccessful attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court also blocked a trial court’s order requiring the creation of a second Black opportunity congressional district in Louisiana in Ardoin v. Robinson. A panel of the Fifth Circuit had already reviewed the case and denied the state’s request to block the ruling. As a result of the Supreme Court’s unexplained order, Louisiana voters will vote under racially discriminatory maps for the 2022 election.