The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in early December for a case that is likely to give radical leftists fits. Moore v. Harper will decide if it was constitutional for the North Carolina Supreme Court to dismiss the state’s redistricting map that heavily favored Republicans.
While it will not spawn the publicity and mass demonstrations associated with this year’s abortion ruling, the court’s decision will have a sweeping impact on elections across the nation.
The “independent state legislature doctrine” holds that state and local courts may not interfere with the redistricting process.
Thinking Through Moore v. Harper, Part 3 https://t.co/H9vISnDqrv
— Ed Whelan (@EdWhelanEPPC) November 29, 2022
This legal position is grounded in Article 1, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. It declared that “Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”
Proponents of this position argue that the wording clearly gives state legislatures power over the election process.
Further, that power may not be interfered with by local and state courts, even if the redistricting runs afoul of the state constitution.
The left counters this argument by noting that states with legislatures controlled by a single party could and likely would gerrymander district lines to guarantee their success in elections.
Democrats assert that the underpublicized case is a threat to democracy. Of course, that’s been said about many issues in recent times.
The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in February that the proposed congressional map was “unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt” under the state constitution.
It was two decades ago when state legislators delegated power to North Carolina’s courts to oversee electoral maps and even step in and create “interim” plans for voting districts.
The question before the U.S. Supreme Court is not only is the “independent state legislature doctrine” constitutional but did North Carolina lawmakers violate the constitution by delegating their authority to the judicial system?
Clouding the issue further is the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which requires every state’s slate of electors be certified by the governor. Thus the high court must also decide if this provision in the 1887 statute also defies the constitution. Stay tuned.