Judicial Coup? SCOTUS Gerrymandering Case May Let GOP State Legislatures Control Federal Elections


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The U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday it will hear oral arguments in a case experts warn could be one of the greatest threats to U.S. democracy since the deadly January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. In October, the court will hear Moore v. Harper — a case which seeks to reinstate gerrymandered congressional maps that were struck down by North Carolina’s highest court. A ruling in favor of North Carolina Republicans could revive a marginal right-wing legal theory known as independent state legislature doctrine, potentially stripping state courts of their power to strike down state laws, while expanding the power of GOP-controlled state legislatures to control federal elections. We speak with law professor Carolyn Shapiro, director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Shapiro says a ruling in favor of North Carolina Republicans would be “extremely problematic from the perspective of democracy” and “could cause enormous chaos.”