WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections, led nineteen of her colleagues in filing an amicus brief highlighting their opposition to the independent state legislature theory being considered in the upcoming Supreme Court case, Moore v. Harper. This extreme theory claims that the federal Constitution allows state legislatures to make rules for federal elections without the usual checks and balances setup by state constitutions.
The senators filing this brief argue that the federal Constitution requires state legislatures to follow the same constitutional procedures when making rules for federal elections that they use to make other state laws. State rules for federal elections, the senators argue, must be reviewable by the state courts to ensure rogue legislatures follow the law and cannot roll back voting rights.
“Across our country, the right to vote is under attack from state legislative efforts that threaten our democratic processes and limit opportunities for people to make their voices heard at the ballot box,” said Klobuchar. “We filed this amicus brief to urge the Supreme Court to ensure that state legislatures remain bound by checks and balances in their state constitutions such as judicial review. At this critical moment, the Supreme Court must reject these radical arguments that seek to undermine the free and fair elections that are at the cornerstone of our democracy.”
In addition to Klobuchar, the brief was joined by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Angus King (I-ME), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Moore v. Harper was appealed to the Supreme Court by the Speaker of the North Carolina General Assembly and other state legislative leaders who argue that the North Carolina state supreme court lacked authority under the federal Constitution to review and invalidate the Congressional map drawn by the state legislature.
The full brief is available HERE.