Supreme Court Makes Major Ruling in Election Case

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( – On Tuesday, June 27, the Supreme Court ruled that state judges can override state legislatures regarding the way that federal elections are carried out. According to Fox News, the 6-3 opinion was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, who cited the Elections Clause of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution stating that under this article, the state legislatures were not exempt from “the ordinary exercise of state judicial review.”

While the majority of the court voted with Roberts, three Justices including Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas all dissented.

Roberts wrote in his opinion that state courts still had the right to “apply state constitutional restraints” in cases where the legislatures are using the power that the Election Clause bestows.

The decision related to the case, Moore v. Harper, where there was a constitutional dispute over whether the state court had the authority to regulate federal elections, especially with regard to gerrymandered redistricting maps. Many state lawmakers were looking for a more favorable interpretation of the law which would provide them with almost complete control over the federal election regulations.

The case went to the Supreme Court after a North Carolina state court deemed a GOP-drawn congressional map submitted in November 2021 to be unconstitutional. The redrawn map would have given the Republican-led legislature advantage in all of the state’s 14 districts. Instead, the maps drawn by the court had been utilized during the state’s midterm elections.

According to Fox News, a law professor from Iowa named Derek Mueller said that the SCOTUS opinion leaves a number of questions unanswered about the parts state courts have to play in election issues.

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