Democracy dodges knockout punch in Supreme Court’s Moore v Harper ruling
The previous Flush GerryMander of May 12, 2023 led with this chilling observation:
“For more than 9 months, I’ve warned about the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) independent legislative theory case, Moore v. Harper. Contrived from thin air by GOP-controlled legislatures in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, the case posits that states should have unchecked power to manage federal elections by gerrymandering to their hearts’ content. Their vision is to permanently block checks and oversight on their power, and thus assure that no branch of democracy, no opposition, no citizen, no court can deflect their intent to rig elections. Ever!”
As SCOTUS heard oral arguments on December 7, 2022, our hollowed-out North Carolina democracy was on the ropes, its survival dependent on this frighteningly-partisan and all-powerful court. For more than a decade, the hyper-conservative majority has too often disdained The People’s democracy. Could they/would they deliver a decision to allow our precious democracy to live another day?
With incredulity and wonder, early in the afternoon of June 27, 2023, SCOTUS ruled against the North Carolina legislature. In a 6-3 vote, “independent state legislature” theory—which would have given legislators the right to ignore their own state constitutions and courts, and rig elections with impunity—was rebuffed. Forever! In a huge win for We the People, the justices held that the “Elections Clause (in the Federal Constitution) does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of judicial review.”
An important note: Though Moore v Harper was a North Carolina case—a decision that favored the N.C. legislature would have spread like wildfire across the land, essentially shredding the very fabric of democracy.
State legislatures’ power would be unchecked by courts and constitutions and governors. At will, legislators would have had an open path to set all rules for federal elections, draw rigged congressional maps, restrict voting, and cast doubt on election results. And, crucially, they’d have unencumbered free rein to create slates of fake electors to steal the 2024 presidential election as attempted by the former president in 2020.
Checks and balances are the very foundation of any democracy. To a man, our Founders recognized that when they breathed life into a government so that it could not be taken over by a single branch, individual, monarch, or political party. They’d seen enough of that in Europe, and passionately meant to avoid what they so feared. Alas, today we have among us, those who would gladly destroy it all!
On the 247th birthday of our founding, we find ourselves a country where one of two major political parties has openly declared war on democracy. Pay attention, question everything, stand up and speak out. Otherwise, that creepy Gerry Mander will have an unobstructed pathway to complete his avowed mission!