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Washington Post Editorial Board Offers Grim Warning About Supreme Court’s ‘Next Move’

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In an opinion piece, the newspaper editorial board criticized the court’s recent decision to listen to Moore v. Harper, a case in North Carolina that might imperil voting rights and decimate protections against extreme partisan gerrymandering.

“Our democracy’s path rests mostly with the Supreme Court. If five justices overturn the North Carolina decision, they are going to know what they’re doing, which is writing a recipe for election tampering,” the Post editorial board wrote. “They may also know why they’re doing it: not since the Structure demands it, but because they will.”

The case centers around congressional maps drawn by state Republican legislators in North Carolina after the 2020 census. The state’s Supreme Court ruled in February that the maps were unfairly gerrymandered in favor of Republicans in violation of the state’s structure.

Republicans within the state legislature are appealing a recent map drawn by the state Supreme Court, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to endorse a radical legal theory that might block state courts from their role in enforcing the election clauses of state constitutions.

A ruling in favor of this argument would eliminate certainly one of the last remaining checks on extreme partisan gerrymandering and will even have a significant effect on the 2024 presidential election.

“Should the Supreme Court buy into this radical doctrine, governors and other state and native officials liable for running elections may also find yourself with their hands tied,” the editorial board wrote.

The board warned this may lead to state legislatures overruling voters.

“It could also create manifold opportunities for mischief of the type then-President Donald Trump and his allies attempted in 2020: Legislatures might remain restrained from deciding to disregard the favored vote and appoint their very own slates of electors after the very fact of a lost presidential race, but they might plausibly pass laws ahead of time establishing a process that permits them to do exactly that,” the editorial board wrote.

The Supreme Court agreed to listen to the case in its fall 2022 session.

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