May 18, 2024

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The Supreme Court has rejected the dangerous election theory

The Supreme Court has rejected the dangerous election theory

Do US state courts have a say in overseeing federal election rules? This is one of the most important issues to be decided by the US Supreme Court this year. Critical to the future of American democracy. However, the High Court by 6 votes to 3 Rejected A dangerous idea that the Republican Congress in North Carolina relied on to deny that state’s Supreme Court the right to govern on the hyperpartisan electoral map they had adopted.

This concept, known as the “doctrine of the independent state legislature”, specifically states that local courts should not interfere in the electoral division, which would be the exclusive competence of local parliamentarians. If verified, this theory would have revolutionized federal elections in the United States, allowing the majority party in any state to override local election laws. In 2016, it may have allowed Donald Trump to be recognized as the winner in some key states.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority decision in the case, argued that the Constitution “does not exempt state legislatures from the ordinary restraints imposed by state law.” Moore v. Harbor.

The controversial doctrine is based on this passage from the Elections Section of the United States Constitution: “The dates, places, and manner of elections of senators and representatives shall be fixed in each state by the legislature of that state. »

Promoters of the doctrine believe that the text of the Constitution excludes the courts from any role in setting federal elections. However, according to Justice Roberts, the Elections Clause of the Constitution “does not protect state legislatures from the routine practice of judicial control of the state”.

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Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch found themselves in the minority.

The Supreme Court is expected to announce two more major rulings Thursday or Friday, one on Joe Biden’s plan to eliminate some student debt and the other on the future of affirmative action programs at private and public universities.

(Washington Post photo)