Supreme Court Asks for More Briefs in Critical Elections Case

March 3, 2023

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered North Carolina Republicans, the Biden Administration and voting rights groups to file additional briefs in a case over who has power to decide election outcomes.

In Moore v Harper, the state of North Carolina is advancing a Constitutional argument called the “independent state legislature theory.” It asserts that a state’s legislators have sole authority over its elections, to the exclusion of its governor—or its courts.

The dispute in the case stems from the redrawing of the congressional map by North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature after the 2020 Census. The state supreme court struck down the proposed voting boundaries as unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering that violated the North Carolina Constitution.

The Supreme Court heard arguments on the case in December. In its Thursday order, the Court called for the involved parties and the DOJ to file “supplemental letter briefs” addressing the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over the case, given that the North Carolina Supreme Court has agreed to rehear the redistricting dispute at the center of the disagreement.

North Carolina Republican legislative leaders are on one side of the debate. Voting rights groups are on the other, along with North Carolina voters and state elections officials. The DOJ has backed the voting rights groups in the case.

The Supreme Court set a deadline of March 20 for the additional filings to be submitted. A decision is expected by the end of June.

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