Fwd: Supreme Court rules against North Carolina Republicans over election law theory — SCOTUSblog

Matthew G. Saroff
3 min readJun 28, 2023

Good News Everyone!

In a 6–3 decision, which would have been a 9–0 decision if the Supreme Court’s right wing was not corrupt and delusional, rejected the incoherent and self serving independent state legislature theory, and allowed the North Carolina Supreme Court ruling on redistricting to stand.

Understand this is not truly good news, this is just a temporary respite.

Unless and until the arrogance and politicization of the federal judiciary in general, and the Supreme Court in particular, we are in a world of hurt:

In a major election-law decision, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that although the Constitution gives state legislatures the power to regulate federal elections, state courts can supervise the legislature’s exercise of that power. By a vote of 6–3, the court rejected the so-called “independent state legislature theory,” holding that the North Carolina Supreme Court did not violate the Constitution when it set aside a congressional map adopted by the state’s legislature.

Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, in an opinion joined by two of his conservative colleagues, Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. Thomas would not have reached the “independent state legislature theory” question at all. Instead, he would have dismissed the case as moot — that is, no longer a live controversy.

The reason that Thomas argued that the case was moot was that, following an orgy of PAC spending in North Carolina, the State Supreme Court was flipped from D to R, and they reheard and reversed themselves..

The dispute began as a challenge to a congressional map adopted by that state’s Republican-controlled legislature in early November 2021. Democratic voters and non-profits argued that the new map was a partisan gerrymander — that is, it was drawn to favor one political party at another’s expense. In particular, they contended, although the state is roughly divided between Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters, the new map likely would have given Republicans 10 out of 14 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2019, in Rucho v. Common Cause, the Supreme Court ruled that federal courts cannot consider claims of partisan gerrymandering. But the 5–4 decision by Chief Justice John Roberts noted that states could still address partisan gerrymandering in their own laws and constitutions. In February 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court (which at the time had a 4–3 Democratic majority) ruled that the new map violated a provision in the state constitution guaranteeing free elections. The state supreme court barred the state from using the new map in the 2022 elections, and the trial court later adopted a new map, drawn by Republicans and Democrats split the state’s congressional seats 7–7.

The argument that this is moot is a transparent attempt to prevent a precedent that calls the interdependent state legislative theory complete and utter bullsh%$, because it makes it more difficult for them to bring over two more justices at a later date.

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