We need to talk about Moore v. Harper.
The right-wing rogues in the Supreme Court have agreed to hear a case that very well might put a judicial capstone on the GOP’s ongoing coup attempt, which could be the death knell for our democracy.
- The nation is still reeling from the blitzkrieg unleashed by an extreme Supreme Court that used its last term to bulldoze a woman’s right to abortion, neutered the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse emissions, limited states’ rights to regulate guns, eroded the separation of church and state, and weakened civil rights by ruling law enforcement can’t be sued for failing to read a person their Miranda rights.
- But the Supreme Court isn’t done trying to implement minority rule and advance its Christian nationalist agenda. They have agreed to hear Moore v. Harper, the most consequential case to our nation’s democracy that most Americans still aren’t talking about.
The Entire GOP Is Complicit in the Coup Attempt
In Moore, North Carolina’s Republican House speaker wants to restore heavily gerrymandered congressional maps drawn by GOP elected officials that were rejected by the North Carolina Supreme Court. The court ordered them redrawn because they gave the GOP an “extreme partisan advantage” that violated the state constitution. In response, Republicans are invoking the “independent state legislature doctrine” which advances “the idea that, under the Constitution, only the legislature has the power to regulate federal elections, without interference from state courts,” as Amy Howe put it in SCOTUSblog.
If the court buys this nonsense theory, then the Republican-controlled state legislatures would be immune from any interference from state courts, governors, and elected officials who step up to protect voting rights and fight back against “constitutional mischief.” Republicans are arguing the Constitution allows state legislatures to completely ignore state Supreme Court decisions when passing laws related to federal elections, and this opens the door for the Supreme Court to say they could ignore the governor and act on their own.
To put it plainly, if President Joe Biden wins battleground states again in 2024, the Republican-controlled state legislatures of Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania could simply reject the will of the majority and install their own slate of electors and hand-deliver the presidency to a Republican.
That’s exactly the crazy plan outlined by Trump-allied right-wing attorney John Eastman in his six-point memo, which a federal judge concluded was a “coup in search of a legal theory.” During his deliberate and sober testimony before the Jan. 6 Committee, retired Judge J. Michael Luttig, a life-long conservative, eviscerated the independent state legislature doctrine as dangerous bullshit and warned that “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy.”