Moore v. Harper: The Worst is Yet to Come

From an Opinion piece in Newsweek

While it is encouraging to see that a bipartisan group of senators have come forward with a package of amendments to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887, there is a potentially new path of destruction to election integrity that the Supreme Court controls.

The reforms to the Electoral Count Act of 1887 would close loopholes allowing a state legislature to overturn election results by requiring 20% of the House and Senate to object to certification of any state’s Electoral College slate, as opposed to only one House member and one senator under the Act today. 

The scary new path is in the hands of the extremist Supreme Court when they hear a North Carolina case of gerrymandering called Moore v. Harper. At the key issue of the case is the so-called independent state legislature doctrine, until recently only a right wing extremist fantasy that hands state legislatures the right to decide the outcome of presidential races, and that neither the governor of a state or a state Supreme Court can provide any check on the legislature’s power to appoint a state’s Electoral College slate.

Through many of the illegitimate challenges to the 2020 elections, it was often the state’s courts which weighed in to throw out those cases.

  • Giving supremacy in federal elections to Republican controlled state legislatures in several key swing states could overturn the popular and electoral vote paving the way for truly stolen elections.
  • A decision in favor of state legislatures would also establish a powerful precedent for the Court to shoot down Electoral Count Act reforms, if they end up passing, on the basis that they undermine the supreme role the Constitution confers on state legislatures.

A small number of swing states could overturn democracy for every state.

Republicans have control of both houses of the state legislature in 30 states, but the path to safety lies in the potential to flip Republican state legislatures to Democratic control.

Republican state legislative control in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania today rests on a total of 12 seats. For example, in Arizona there is only a two seat Republican majority in both the House and the Senate. In Michigan, there is only a six seat difference in both the House and the Senate. 

A report issued by an organization called Forward Majority showed that in Arizona, those districts that determined the control of the legislatures was 3,000 votes. In Michigan, it was 8,600 votes.

Newly drawn districts, while still gerrymandered for Republicans, have made a number of districts more competitive for Democrats. Forward Majority has pointed to the fact that there are 1 million likely unregistered Democratic voters across 40 newly competitive districts in the three states—where Democrats could flip at least one legislative chamber.

When combined with 20 states not controlled by Republicans, flipping at least one legislative chamber in the key states of Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania would be crucial to guarding against an extreme Supreme Court decision in Moore v. Harper.