Chief Justices Across America Oppose Legislators’ Power Grab

The bipartisan organization representing Chief Justices of State Supreme Courts nationwide registered its weighty opposition to the attempt by a cabal of NC state legislators to seize unchecked power over the election process.

Last week, the Conference of Chief Justices (the bipartisan group representing the highest judicial officer of each of the 50 states) filed a brief in the case of Moore v. Harper, opposing those legislators’ use of the so-called “independent state legislature” theory. 

That radical, never-adopted reading of the elections clause of the U.S. Constitution would strip state supreme courts of their power to review their own states’ legislatures’ actions on election laws. In effect, that theory would give legislators the power to ignore their state constitution’s guarantees of voting rights and free and fair elections. In so doing, it would also effectively eliminate the American system of political checks and balances across three co-equal branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial) at the state level. NCLCV is the lead plaintiff in one of the voter-rights cases consolidated for review by the U.S. Supreme Court in this case. In the NCLCV case, plaintiffs successfully argued that the NC General Assembly’s extreme partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts violated the NC State Constitution’s guarantee of free and fair elections.

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