- Oct 28, 2017
- Reaction score
A new Supreme Court case is the biggest threat to US democracy since January 6The Supreme Court’s announcement on Thursday that it will hear Moore v. Harper, a case that could concentrate an unprecedented amount of power in gerrymandered state legislatures, should alarm anyone who cares about democracy.
The case is perhaps the gravest threat to American democracy since the January 6 attack. It seeks to reinstate gerrymandered congressional maps that were struck down by North Carolina’s highest court because they “subordinated traditional neutral redistricting criteria in favor of extreme partisan advantage” for the Republican Party.
The plaintiffs argue that the state supreme court didn’t have the authority to strike down these maps, and rest their claim on legal arguments that would fundamentally alter how congressional and presidential elections are conducted.
Moore involves the “independent state legislature doctrine,” a theory that the Supreme Court has rejected many times over the course of more than a century — but that started to gain steam after Republican appointees gained a supermajority on the Supreme Court at the end of the Trump administration.
Moore v. Harper is a grave threat to US democracy, and the fate of that democracy probably comes down to Amy Coney Barrett.
Given the Court's propensity for making ideological rather than legally based rulings, this one seems like a foregone conclusion. It will empower Repubs to structure districts to ensure they remain in power even when they receive a minority of votes.
Today, we answer this question: does our state constitution recognize that the people of this state have the power to choose those who govern us, by giving each of us an equally powerful voice through our vote? Or does our constitution give to members of the General Assembly, as they argue here, unlimited power to draw electoral maps that keep themselves and our members of Congress in office as long as they want, regardless of the will of the people, by making some votes more powerful than others? We hold that our constitution’s Declaration of Rights guarantees the equal power of each person’s voice in our government through voting in elections that matter.
It is naked power grabs like this that cause me to encourage Dems to fight fire with fire. Manchin's naivete comes to mind. Holding to the silly notion there are still Repubs of good will, willing to compromise for the greater good. If Trump's presidency and McConnell's duplicity in stealing two SC seats teaches us anything it's we have jettisoned the era of tradition, protocol, mutual respect, and precedent. Nowadays, it's all about obtaining power by any means available with no regard for the consequences. And boy, the Repubs are good at it.