rainn.png
Monday January 30th, 2023 3:33AM

Justices take up elections case that could reshape voting

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is taking up a case with the potential to fundamentally reshape elections for Congress and the presidency.

The justices are hearing arguments Wednesday over the power of state courts to strike down congressional districts drawn by the legislature because they violate state constitutions.

Republicans from North Carolina who are bringing the case to the high court argue that a provision of the U.S. Constitution known as the elections clause gives state lawmakers virtually total control over the “times, places and manner” of congressional elections, including redistricting, and cuts state courts out of the process.

The Republicans are advancing a concept called the independent legislature theory, never before adopted by the Supreme Court but cited approvingly by four conservative justices.

A broad ruling could threaten hundreds of election laws, require separate rules for federal and state elections on the same ballot and lead to new efforts to redraw congressional districts to maximize partisan advantage.

The court's decision in the North Carolina case also might suggest how the justices would deal with another part of the Constitution — not at issue in the current case — that gives legislatures the authority to decide how presidential electors are appointed. That provision, the electors clause, was central to efforts to try to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in several closely contested states.

The North Carolina state Supreme Court struck down districts drawn by Republicans who control the legislature because they heavily favored Republicans in the highly competitive state. The court-drawn map used in last month's elections for Congress produced a 7-7 split between Democrats and Republicans.

North Carolina is among six states in recent years in which state courts have ruled that overly partisan redistricting for Congress violated their state constitutions. The others are Florida, Maryland, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

State courts have become the only legal forum for challenging partisan congressional maps since the Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that those lawsuits cannot be brought in federal court.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court and joined by four other conservative justices, noted that state courts remained open. “Provisions in state statutes and state constitutions can provide standards and guidance for state courts to apply,” Roberts wrote, in an opinion joined by Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.

But Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas wrote in March that they would have allowed the Republican-drawn map to be used this year. Alito wrote for the three justices that “there must be some limit on the authority of state courts to countermand actions taken by state legislatures when they are prescribing rules for the conduct of federal elections. I think it is likely that the applicants would succeed in showing that the North Carolina Supreme Court exceeded those limits.”

Kavanaugh has separately written about the need for federal courts to police the actions of state courts when it comes to federal elections, citing an opinion by three conservatives in the Bush v. Gore case that settled the 2000 presidential election. Thomas was one of the three justices on that 22-year-old opinion, but the court decided the case on other grounds.

In North Carolina, Republican lawmakers won't have to wait for the court's decision to produce a new congressional map that is expected to have more Republican districts.

Even as Democrats won half the state's 14 congressional seats, Republicans seized control of the state Supreme Court. Two newly elected Republican justices give them a 5-2 edge that makes it more likely than not that the court would uphold a map with more Republican districts.

___

Follow the AP's coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court at https://apnews.com/hub/us-supreme-court.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Justices take up elections case that could reshape voting
The Supreme Court is taking up a case with the potential to reshape elections for Congress and the presidency
12:38AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Democratic Sen. Warnock wins Georgia runoff against Walker
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election in Georgia
12:05AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Warnock, Walker in tight race in Georgia Senate runoff
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican football legend Herschel Walker are locked in a tight contest in their runoff election that will decide the final U.S. Senate seat
10:14PM ( 2 hours ago )
U.S. News
Lakers lose star Davis with flu-like symptoms, fall to Cavs
Los Angeles star center Anthony Davis was forced to leave Los Angeles’ game against the Cleveland Cavaliers after the first quarter and his teammates struggled without him in a 116-102 loss
11:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
China trade shrinks amid virus pressure, interest rate hikes
China’s imports and exports shrank in November under pressure from weakening global demand and anti-virus controls at home
11:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
China November trade sinks under virus pressure, rate hikes
China’s imports and exports shrank in November as global demand weakened and anti-virus controls weighed on the second-largest economy
10:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
US approves $425 million in arms sales to Taiwan
The Biden administration has signed off on two new significant arms sales to Taiwan in approvals that are sure to rankle China
10:37PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump's Constitution remarks put McConnell, GOP on defense
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has delivered another rebuke of Donald Trump, saying anyone who thinks the Constitution can be suspended would have a “very hard time” becoming president in the United States
9:56PM ( 2 hours ago )
Coast Guard faults pilot in Chesapeake Bay ship grounding
A Coast Guard investigation into the grounding in March of a cargo ship in the Chesapeake Bay is faulting the pilot tasked with helping the ship navigate the waterway
9:01PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Warnock or Walker? Georgia voters settle last Senate seat
Georgia voters are deciding the final Senate contest in the country
5:32PM ( 7 hours ago )
Facebook parent Meta threatens to remove news from platform
Facebook parent Meta Platforms says it will be forced to consider removing news content from its platform if Congress passes legislation that could require social media companies to pay news outlets
5:08PM ( 7 hours ago )
Jan. 6 'heroes' honored for defending Capitol from Trump mob
Top House and Senate leaders have bestowed Congress' highest honor on law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021
4:48PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Federal judge OKs Oregon's new high-capacity magazine ban
A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, will allow a new voter-passed ban on high-capacity gun magazines to go into effect Thursday
2:07PM ( 10 hours ago )
Justices spar in latest clash of religion and gay rights
The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is sounding sympathetic to a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for gay couples
9:29PM ( 1 day ago )
Same-sex couples wary despite federal marriage rights bill
Same-sex couples say they're happy that Congress is moving quickly to ensure nationwide recognition of gay marriage
1:24PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
Outgoing elections head in key Nevada county details threats
The elections director in the largest county in one of the nation’s most important battleground states details the threats he and his co-workers have received since the 2020 presidential election and how he responded to protect his staff
5:08PM ( 7 hours ago )
Outgoing elections chief in Nevada county details threats
The elections director in the largest county in one of the nation’s most important battleground states details the threats he and his co-workers have received since the 2020 presidential election and how he responded to protect his staff
4:59PM ( 7 hours ago )
Outgoing election clerk in key Nevada county details threats
The elections director in the largest county in one of the nation’s most important battleground states details the threats he and his co-workers have received since the 2020 presidential election and how he responded to protect his staff
4:43PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Elections
Trump rebuked for call to suspend Constitution over election
Former President Donald Trump is facing rebuke from both parties after calling for the “termination” of parts of the Constitution over his lie that the 2020 election was stolen
5:17PM ( 2 days ago )
Defeated election conspiracists seek to lead Michigan GOP
The Republicans who lost their races for Michigan’s top three statewide offices after promoting falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election are not planning to go quietly
9:59AM ( 3 days ago )
GOP's Duarte takes California Central Valley US House seat
Republican John Duarte defeated Democrat Adam Gray in a new California U.S. House district in the Central Valley farm belt that produced the closest congressional contest in the state this year
11:00PM ( 4 days ago )
General Election News
Jan. 6 panel interviews Wisconsin GOP Assembly speaker
Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has been interviewed by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol
5:01PM ( 6 days ago )
Haley signals 2024 openness despite pledge to back Trump
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley says she would take the Christmas holiday to mull a possible 2024 presidential bid
11:21PM ( 1 week ago )
Oath Keepers' Rhodes guilty of Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has been convicted of seditious conspiracy for a violent plot to overturn President Joe Biden's election, handing the Justice Department a major victory in its massive prosecution of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection
9:53PM ( 1 week ago )
General Presidential Election News
Democratic Sen. Warnock wins Georgia runoff against Walker
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election in Georgia
12:05AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Warnock, Walker in tight race in Georgia Senate runoff
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican football legend Herschel Walker are locked in a tight contest in their runoff election that will decide the final U.S. Senate seat
10:14PM ( 2 hours ago )
Congress set to rescind COVID-19 vaccine mandate for troops
The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the U.S. military would be rescinded under the annual defense bill heading for a vote this week in Congress
10:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
State judge places hold on Oregon's gun law, state to appeal
A state court judge’s ruling has placed Oregon’s tough new voter-approved gun law on hold just hours after a federal court judge in Portland allowed a ban on the sale and transfer of high-capacity magazines to take effect this week
9:57PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump Organization convicted in executive tax dodge scheme
Donald Trump’s company has been convicted of tax fraud for a scheme by top executives to avoid paying personal income taxes on perks such as apartments and luxury cars
9:52PM ( 2 hours ago )