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Supremes to hear case today that could upend American democracy

By Donna
December 7, 2022 6:43 am
Category: Law

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Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Far-Reaching Elections Case

In a North Carolina case, the court is being asked to decide whether to drastically expand the authority that state legislatures have over election maps and voting laws.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday about the independent state legislature theory, which contends that state judiciaries are powerless to modify or override decisions by state legislatures regarding federal election laws and maps.

WASHINGTON — It is a case “with profound consequences for American democracy,” said J. Michael Luttig, a former federal appeals court judge long a hero to conservatives.

Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court, a Republican, has said it is “the biggest federalism issue in a long time, maybe ever.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Moore v. Harper, a dispute between voting rights advocates and North Carolina’s General Assembly, which is controlled by Republicans, that could drastically increase the power that state legislatures have over voting issues.

Just how much power is at issue could become clearer as the arguments play out. But there is no arguing how high the stakes are in this lawsuit. The court is being asked to decide whether state election laws and political maps passed by state legislatures — specifically, a Republican gerrymander of North Carolina’s 14 House seats that the state’s Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional this year — should continue to be subject to judicial review in state courts.

Republicans seeking to restore the legislative map have argued that the state court is powerless to act under what had been a fringe theory known as the independent state legislature doctrine. The theory argues that the federal Constitution gives state lawmakers sweeping power to draw maps and set election rules — even if they violate a state’s laws or its constitution.

The issue comes at a time when gerrymanders have become so extreme and technologically sophisticated that they can enable parties to almost indefinitely lock in political dominance. When new state legislatures convene next year, 28 will have a Republican majority (as will essentially Nebraska, which is nonpartisan in a Republican state), 19 will be Democratic and two will be split.

That is contentious enough by itself. But the Moore case also has a marked ideological cast. A Supreme Court increasingly in tune with the political right is being asked to ratify a legal concept favored by some ardent conservatives — one that four Supreme Court justices have already expressed at least tentative support for.

At the same time, many in the legal and political establishments see a dangerous subversion of democratic values.




Cited and related links:

  1. nytimes.com

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Comments on "Supremes to hear case today that could upend American democracy":

  1. by islander on December 7, 2022 7:26 am

    What we have been seeing is the attempt by the GOP to bring about the destruction of the United States of America and to turn our country into a group of small countries, and ultimately back into tribes like Afghanistan fighting amongst each other, each with their own war lords.

    This is what Lincoln feared and what is meant by “United We stand...Divided We Fall”...And if we are divided we will fall.

    We are either one country or we are not. We fought this same battle 160 years ago. Don’t let us lose it now.


  2. by HatetheSwamp on December 7, 2022 7:27 am

    This is a case where the distinction OD and pb make between democracy and republic applies.

    This is a constitutional republic. And, under this Court, "the people and their representatives" actually do rule. It is a gross and dangerous absurdity, Donna, for you to suggest that democracy happens when state courts are empowered to foist the opinion of a few judges over a state legislature.

    That's crazy, Donna. And, based on previous decisions, this Court is all about "of the people, by the people and for the people," not about the power of judges to do the foisting you lot have grooved on for so long. pb expects your side to lose...again. Because this is a republic.


  3. by oldedude on December 7, 2022 7:52 am
    Lead-
    I agree wholeheartedly. If we weren't a REPUBLIC, the heading may be true. The left "assumes" and wishes we had a Marxist central government that has the rights to micromanage the states. With it going to SCOTUS, they will decide if it does or does not violate federal law.

    These differences are things my grandkids will understand before leaving elementary school. It's nothing but the basic knowledge you need to be a citizen here.

    The decision is going to be based on if the federal government has the right to intervene in how the states run elections. The argument from the states is that in the constitution, they are to run elections the way they see fit as long as it doesn't violate federal law. I haven't looked at it to see.

    Either way, I am not going to run around, pulling my hair and screaming that "THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!!!!"


  4. by islander on December 7, 2022 7:59 am

    ”This is a case where the distinction OD and pb make between democracy and republic applies.” `Hate

    We are one country... a united democratic constitutional republic.

    Each state has their own legislative, executive, and judicial branch and they can make their own laws that apply only to the people within that state as long as they do not violate our Constitution. Our Federal laws (again, that don’t violate our constitution) apply to everyone...All of us no matter what state we live in.

 When we vote in Federal elections we are voting as one country which is why individual state laws should not interfere with our federal elections since those elections are for a government that is decided by and for ALL the people. This is why federal election laws should be uniform across the whole country.



  5. by HatetheSwamp on December 7, 2022 8:14 am

    I'm not sure what you mean by that last sentence. Clearly, the states run their own elections and always have.

    What's going on here is that the Court is being given yet another opportunity to reassert the authority of the Tenth Amendment.

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    The states. The people. I know you HATE that!

    Donna's idea that "democracy" is a matter of a judge or judges subverting the will of "the people and their representatives" is fading. This Court will give POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

    That's a good thing, to pb...and OD, too, I'm sure.


  6. by Donna on December 7, 2022 8:44 am

    Hts, od: So you're saying that if a state legislature draws up and approves a gerrymandered district map, there should be no recourse? It has to remain in place as is?



  7. by oldedude on December 7, 2022 8:55 am
    "When we vote in Federal elections we are voting as one country which is why individual state laws should not interfere with our federal elections since those elections are for a government that is decided by and for ALL the people. This is why federal election laws should be uniform across the whole country."

    Isle- I understand your reasoning for this. And this is a limitation of the system.

    But the constitution allows the states to decide on their own voting laws. I do have a problem with some issues related to this. One of these is allowing nonregistered or illegal aliens to vote. The constitution allows them to vote in local elections, but not federal elections. So do they actually vote in federal elections? If not, how are the ballots separated and counted? I'm not saying it happens, I just don't know and I think there's a huge propensity for that happening without specific steps taken to ensure the votes are counted correctly.


  8. by HatetheSwamp on December 7, 2022 8:56 am

    The Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    That is in the Bill of Rights.

    Assuming that nothing else in Constitution is violated, pb thinks that the will of "the people and their representatives" is, by definition...and because this is a "of the people, by the people and for the people" nation, there's no recourse. This is a republic, as much as you wish it weren't.

    pb thinks that this Court will rule that way. But, that's merely his educated guess.

    So far, all of the recent decisions that bother your side, are "of the people..." issues.


  9. by islander on December 7, 2022 9:03 am

    I'm not sure what you mean by that last sentence. Clearly, the states run their own elections and always have.



    Sure you understand! This was my last sentence, ”This is why federal election laws should be uniform across the whole country.” ---

    I clearly stated that states run their own elections and always have.

    However...The state laws that are passed in Maine should not and do not apply to or effect you, just as the county zoning laws in a different county from mine should not and do not apply to or affect me.

    “Federal election laws”, do affect me no matter what state you or I live in since federal elections effect ALL of us.





  10. by oldedude on December 7, 2022 9:06 am
    And to vote in National elections, the Federal Law must be met. That's my concern with the issue I raised. I think it convoludes a lot of the voting process.

    ps. I know you were talking to lead, I just thought I would interject.od


  11. by Donna on December 7, 2022 9:16 am

    Hts, od: So you're saying that if a state legislature draws up and approves a gerrymandered district map, there should be no recourse? It has to remain in place as is?

    What if a state legislature decides that they don't like the outcome of, say, a US Senate election and vote to throw out the election results altogether and name their candidate the winner. There should be no recourse? They other side can't take them to court?

    Kari Lake famously said that if she had been the governor of Arizona in 2020, she wouldn't have approved the election results. If that had happened, are you saying that the Democrats shouldn't be allowed to take Lake to court? What she decided should be final because the legislature should be independent from judicial oversight?


  12. by HatetheSwamp on December 7, 2022 10:21 am

    What if a state legislature decides that they don't like the outcome of, say, a US Senate election and vote to throw out the election results altogether and name their candidate the winner. There should be no recourse? They other side can't take them to court?

    You're stumbling on to a crucial issue.

    In our Constitutional Republic, each of the government has its own authority. I can't see how the branch that creates legislation could claim the authority to overturn the results of an election. The legislature certainly has the authority to create the way a state conducts its elections. Who else could do that in this republic? But, overthrow the people's election. No. Can't see it.

    However, your side has this mantra that there couldn't have been cheating in 020 because none of Trump’s suits were upheld by the Supreme Court. Duh. Tenth Amendment. The states. The people. The truth is that the Court never suggested that "that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap's" gang didn't cheat. The Court knows that there's a Tenth Amendment. The states. The people. Your side lived by that sword in 020. You're probably going to die by it in this case.


  13. by Donna on December 7, 2022 10:46 am

    "However, your side has this mantra that there couldn't have been cheating in 020 because none of Trump’s suits were upheld by the Supreme Court." - Hts

    None of Trump's suits made it to the Supreme Court. It was lower courts that threw out their attempts at suits.

    The only "mantra" that applies is "You have to have a legitimate case in order for the court to accept it". That holds for everyone.


  14. by HatetheSwamp on December 7, 2022 10:50 am

    I think that you're misremembering.

    What do you suppose makes a case "legitimate?"


  15. by Donna on December 7, 2022 11:01 am

    Don't act stupid. We've been thru this a gazillion times. You know that the courts almost literally laughed all of those "fraud" cases out of court because of insufficient evidence.


  16. by HatetheSwamp on December 7, 2022 11:10 am

    I don't know that. You BELIEVE that so fiercely that you assume your faith is fact. It ain't.

    What makes a case legitimate?


  17. by Donna on December 7, 2022 11:55 am

    Every court rejected Trump's fraud allegations. If they had a real case, it would have been tried. Some of the judges were Trump appointees. But we've discussed all of this endlessly.

    Could there theoretically have been massive fraud? Yes. But of course you have to have admissible evidence. But again, you know all of this.



  18. by islander on December 7, 2022 12:18 pm

    Hate ~ You claim that you didn't know that virtually all the courts threw out your assertions of massive voter fraud because of insufficient evidence...

    I don't believe you.

    Click on the link and read about it and then you won't be able to make such nonsense claims.
    apnews.com


  19. by HatetheSwamp on December 7, 2022 12:27 pm

    Check the date of your article. This stuff was going on, virtually, until the day the Former Truck Driver put hand on the Bible and quoted it.


  20. by islander on December 7, 2022 12:39 pm

    Then show me all the court cases that ruled that there was indeed massive voter fraud...That's right...You can't.


  21. by HatetheSwamp on December 7, 2022 1:09 pm

    Not the point...by looooooooong shot.


  22. by oldedude on December 7, 2022 1:20 pm
    "So you're saying that if a state legislature draws up and approves a gerrymandered district map, there should be no recourse? It has to remain in place as is?"

    When did I even infer that? Most states go through this every time they get to draw up the district maps. I'm just a realist. Gerrymandering happens on all sides every time maps get drawn up. So it's not something I get I get my pants in a wad about. That's why there are legal ways to work the problem out. To believe that any side would not do this means you don't know much at all about what a contact sport politics really is.


  23. by HatetheSwamp on December 7, 2022 4:38 pm

    Supreme Court signals interest in middle path in major election law clash

    Good, newsy and insightful article. pb'd agree with the position attributed to Kavanaugh and ACB. This is, after all, a constitutional republic.
    abc27.com


  24. by Donna on December 8, 2022 10:45 am

    Good overview. Thanks for posting.


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