Tuesday 27 June 2023

Supreme Court Rules Against Republicans in North Carolina Elections Dispute in 6-3 Vote


The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against Republicans in North Carlina fighting for a congressional district map.

North Carolina’s GOP-led Supreme Court in April overturned a previous state supreme court ruling on the congressional maps and gerrymandering after the November midterms.

Last year, the then-Democrat controlled state supreme court said the ‘partisan gerrymandering’ vioated the state’s constitution.

The state’s high court, now controlled by Republicans, overturned the previous ruling on the congressional maps. 

The latest North Carolina Supreme Court ruling effectively made the US Supreme Court’s case moot.

“State courts retain the authority to apply state constitutional restraints when legislatures act on the power conferred on them by the Elections Clause,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch in dissent said the case is moot.

“The congressional map in North Carolina will be re-drawn ahead of the 2024 election anyway because of a state law provision that says interim maps can only be used for one election cycle. As a result of the North Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling, that map is likely to tilt heavily toward Republicans.” NBC News reported.

NBC News reported:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to impose new limits on state courts reviewing certain election-related issues by ruling against Republicans in North Carolina fighting for a congressional district map that would heavily favor their candidates.

The justices ruled on a 6-3 vote that the North Carolina Supreme Court was acting within its authority in concluding that the map constituted a partisan gerrymander under the state constitution.

In doing so, the court declined to embrace a hitherto obscure legal argument called the “independent state legislature” theory, which Republicans say limits state court authority to strike down certain election laws enacted by state legislatures.

The independent state legislature argument hinges on language in the Elections Clause of the Constitution that says election rules “shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.” 

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