The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in Moore v. Harper, a case with far-reaching implications for voting rights. During three hours of debate, justices considered a bid by North Carolina Republican lawmakers to overturn a state Supreme Court ruling that redrew North Carolina’s congressional map due to partisan gerrymandering. The plaintiffs want the Supreme Court to embrace the independent state legislature theory, which would hand state lawmakers sweeping authority to override courts, governors and state constitutions. Lawyer Neal Katyal argued against the theory on behalf of North Carolina voting rights groups.
Neal Katyal: “I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a theory in this court that would invalidate more state constitutional clauses as being federally unconstitutional, hundreds of them, from the founding to today. The blast radius from their theory would sow elections chaos, forcing a confusing two-track system with one set of rules for federal elections and another for state ones.”