Supreme Court Rules Against “Independent State Legislature”

North Carolina sought to remove court reviews from the election process.

The Supreme Court ruled against legislators from North Carolina who wanted to remove state courts from the federal election process. The lawsuit stemmed from a political theory called the “independent state legislature theory,” which has recently grown in popularity. This theory offers an alternative interpretation to a phrase from the Constitution’s Elections Clause, “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” 

The theory posits that, because of this verbiage, state legislators should have sole authority over all election decisions in their state instead of allowing judges to hold decisions that conflict with state constitutions accountable. North Carolina legislators were advocating for this in their court case, appealing a decision made by North Carolina judges last year that required the redrawing of federal district maps the court found to be biased.

The Supreme Court reviewed the appeal and voted to uphold the decision made by the lower court. “The Elections Clause does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of state judicial review,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Chief Justice Roberts as he presides over the Supreme Court.
  • For the justices of the Supreme Court to seek God’s direction as they choose cases to hear in the fall.
  • For the justices as they release the remaining rulings of this term.

Sources: Reuters, CBS News


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