During their annual session in Washington DC, the Supreme Court revealed their docket, which included the closely-watched case that could remove state courts ability to overrule state legislature decisions involving elections.
The case of Moore v. Harper is a challenge to North Carolina’s Supreme Court’s decision to overrule how the state’s legislature revised fourteen congressional districts. North Carolina courts decided the congressional districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. However, lawmakers within the state maintain the courts are legally powerless in this matter.
By having this case on the docket, it would settle the decades-long debate of “independent legislature theory.” This theory presumes a state’s legislature has overall authority over election-related decisions. It also assumes state courts cannot act as a pseudo-legislative body by overruling the legislature’s decisions, as long as all actions fall within federal and state laws.
This case, if decided in favor of state legislatures, could be a considerable win for election integrity advocates. After the 2020 election, many state legislatures were overruled by state judges who appeared to be acting like super legislators who were directly stopping state lawmakers from exercising their powers to investigate questionable election activity.
After the 2020 election, many state courts proved they were more than willing to involve themselves in election laws and decisions. And many conservatives believe allowing state courts to determine how districts are drawn sets a dangerous precedent and could lead to election activity being determined behind closed doors, and not based on the will of the people.