[guest post by Dana]
Per SCOTUS majority, “state courts do not have free rein”:
In a major election-law decision, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that although the Constitution gives state legislatures the power to regulate federal elections, state courts can supervise the legislature’s exercise of that power. By a vote of 6-3, the court rejected the so-called “independent state legislature theory,” holding that the North Carolina Supreme Court did not violate the Constitution when it set aside a congressional map adopted by the state’s legislature.
In a press release issued shortly after the decision was announced, Bob Phillips, the executive director of Common Cause North Carolina, one of the challengers, called the ruling a “historic victory for the people of North Carolina and for American democracy. Today, the Supreme Court made clear that state courts and state constitutions should serve as a critical check against abuses of power by legislators.”
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 6-3 opinion. In part:
“Federal courts must not abandon their duty to exercise judicial review.
When state legislatures act pursuant to their Elections Clause authority, they engage in lawmaking subject to the typical constraints on the exercise of such power…In sum, our precedents have long rejected the view that legislative action under the Elections Clause is purely federal in character, governed only by restraints found in the Federal Constitution.”
Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett joined Roberts in the majority.