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The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has agreed to review the “independent state legislature” theory during their next term, according to SCOTUSblog.
Independent State Legislature Doctrine (ISLD) is not an issue that mainstream American voters are generally well-acquainted with, but the decision the court makes in the upcoming North Carolina case of Moore v. Harper could impact future election processes.
A report from SCOTUSblog written by John Elwood stated that ISLD “holds that the Constitution gives state legislatures alone the power to regulate federal elections in their states, without the oversight of state courts.”
According to an analysis from The New American, ISLD arises from both the Elections Clause and the Presidential Electors Clause: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors.”
The theory lends credence to the idea that state legislatures have unflinching power to set parameters and regulations for federal election processes that may contradict what state courts say. SCOTUSblog tweeted, “Under that theory, state legislatures have broad power to set rules for federal elections, even if state courts say those rules are unconstitutional.”
The debate here hinges on whether the state legislature can summarily usurp the authority of the state court system when it comes to a federal election.
RSBN previously reported that the court was poised to review the North Carolina case (Moore v. Harper) that challenged a state court ruling removing congressional districts that the General Assembly created – and likely would have resulted in massive GOP victories.
Considering nationwide reports of evidence of election fraud and irregularities, the issue of ISLD has become more important than ever before. However, The New American report noted that a “narrow reading of the ISLD could present problems down the road” based on the fluctuating partisanship of state legislatures.
The Supreme Court’s next term will begin in October.