The next big voting rights case is coming before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, on Wednesday, December 7. And it started right here in North Carolina.
Last year, when the state Supreme Court threw out the extreme partisan gerrymanders put forth by the Republican-controlled NC General Assembly (NCGA) and called for a special master to draw fair voting maps, the Republican-controlled legislature, led by NC House Speaker Tim Moore, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and reinstate their gerrymanders.
Their reasoning? A debunked legal theory known as “independent state legislature theory,” which would leave the state constitution and state courts powerless when it comes to federal elections.
While gerrymandering allows lawmakers to pick their voters, the case presented by Moore v. Harper would allow lawmakers to control elections as well. The so-called “independent state legislature theory” would end the system of checks and balances that our democracy is based on, enabling a few politicians to subvert the will of the people.
The Most Important Case on Democracy Since Our Founding
If SCOTUS rules against Common Cause in the Moore v. Harper Case, it would be even easier for state politicians to create barriers to voting access, draw rigged voting maps, and cast doubt on fair election results.
Judge J. Michael Luttig, former judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit appointed by President George H.W. Bush, says that Moore v. Harper is “the single most important case on and for American democracy since the nation’s founding.” All 50 Supreme Court Justices of state supreme courts have signed a letter urging the U.S. Supreme court to reject Moore’s claim.
For an excellent, plain-language explanation of the case, see this explainer from the Brennan Center, or watch their short video, “Who Protects Your Vote? The Independent State Legislature Theory, Explained.”
To call attention to the case, Common Cause is rallying in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, December 7, the day that SCOTUS will hear oral arguments in the case. In support, rallies and press conferences are being held across North Carolina – including here in Asheville.
“People Over Politics” Press Conference
Wed, Dec 7 | 10-10:30 a.m.
Asheville City Hall, 70 Court Plaza
Join us Wednesday morning in front of City Hall to show your support for democracy and stand up for free and fair elections.