The justices will consider what the framers meant when they included the word “legislature” in a key constitutional provision about elections, even though the court dealt with that same issue in 2015.
- North Carolina GOP state lawmakers are asking the Supreme Court to give them more power to set election rules.
- Good government groups worry the ruling will limit state courts’ ability to review election laws.
- The Supreme Court will hear the case as polls show Americans are losing confidence in elections.
WASHINGTON – On the final day of its historic 2021-2022 term, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a significant case from North Carolina about how states set the rules for federal elections. Some groups worry the ruling will fundamentally alter elections.
- What’s the case about? On the surface, the case is about North Carolina’s congressional districts. A state court stepped in to block the redistricting proposed by the legislature and now GOP state lawmakers in the Tar Heel State are suing.
- What are the potential implications? A ruling could have an impact far beyond North Carolina if the Supreme Court decides that state legislatures should be able to set federal election rules without review by other entities, including state courts.
- What’s the “independent state legislature” doctrine? It’s a legal theory thatasserts the Constitution gives state legislatures control over running federal elections, with oversight only from Congress.
- Has the Supreme Court ruled on this before? In fact, the nation’s highest court tackled some of the same questions raised in the case just seven years ago. But that was before President Donald Trump handed conservatives a 6-3 advantage.
- When will the court rule? Arguments are expected in the fall with a decision likely to land next year, after the 2022 midterm election but before the 2024 presidential vote. The appeal will be among the most closely watched in the next term.