The Supreme Court has rejected the Independent State Legislature theory

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 6-3, rejecting the Independent State Legislature theory and allowing state constitutions to protect voting rights in federal elections.

The case background: The North Carolina legislature and the Republican National Committee argued for the interpretation of Article I of the U.S. Constitution to mean that only state legislatures may make election rules.
* This interpretation would have left state courts and governors out of their traditional roles in ruling on state constitutional provisions and exercising veto powers.

Why it matters: The high court’s decision makes it harder for state courts to limit what state legislatures can do when it comes to redistricting, thus placing a significant limitation on state courts and state constitutions.

Who said what: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the 6-3 majority, with conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch dissenting.
* Roberts wrote in his majority opinion: “The elections clause does not vest exclusive and independent authority in state legislatures to set the rules regarding federal elections.”

Practical implications: While the ruling will not make a difference in North Carolina, where redistricting politics are highly partisan, it will likely safeguard the integrity of the 2024 election nationally.

View original article on NPR

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