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BREAKING: SCOTUS will hear our case (now called Moore v. Harper) on Wednesday, December 7th, 2022, putting a radical legal concept, the “independent state legislature theory,” which would severely limit the ability of state courts to intervene on behalf of voters in federal elections.  With your support, we’re fighting back against this baseless and dangerous partisan power grab.   

Common Cause went to the Supreme Court on Dec. 7, 2022 to defend our nation’s systems of checks and balances in the monumental voting rights case Moore v. Harper. A decision in the case is expected by June 2023. Read our press release about our filing here.

Watch Common Cause’s National Redistricting Director Kathay Feng speak with Symone Sanders-Townsend on MSNBC about this high-stakes case:

On Wednesday, December 7, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Moore v. Harper. North Carolina Republican legislators are attempting a partisan power grab after the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down their illegal congressional gerrymander and adopted a map drawn by the Court’s special masters. The NC legislators argue that a radical legal concept, the so-called “independent state legislature theory,” allows them to manipulate congressional districts with no oversight from state courts. Read our press release here.

On December 13, 2021, Common Cause North Carolina, represented by Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Hogan Lovells, intervened in the consolidated cases of Harper v. Hall and League of Conservation Voters v. Hall. Specifically, we argued that the North Carolina Legislature’s process for drawing state legislative and Congressional voting maps ignored long-standing precedent and resulted in extreme partisan gerrymanders in violation of the North Carolina State Constitution. The motion to intervene challenged the Legislature’s maps themselves, alleging that state legislators crafted illegal partisan gerrymanders with devastating consequences for Black voters and their ability to elect the candidates of their choice.

On February 4, 2022, The North Carolina Supreme Court found that the House, Senate, and Congressional maps drawn by the NC General Assembly were unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders in violation of North Carolina law. The three-judge panel adopted the redrawn House and Senate maps and drew a new congressional map. The NC Supreme Court refused to stay implementation of the maps.

The Legislative Defendants then filed an Emergency Stay Application at the Supreme Court of the United States asking SCOTUS to stay the implementation of the new congressional map. We filed a brief in opposition arguing that this request is untimely, unnecessary, and would require SCOTUS to overturn decades of precedent and judicial process.

On March 7, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court rejected North Carolina lawmakers’ attempts to reinstate gerrymandered congressional maps.

On June 30, 2022, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in this case and will hear oral arguments on December 7, 2022. We filed a brief opposing the historically baseless “independent state legislature theory” on October 19, 2022. Common Cause, alongside all other non-state respondents, argued that the constitutional text, structure, history, and precedent make clear that this theory must fail and the consequences of the “independent state legislature theory” would upend elections nationwide. Read our brief here.

In January 2023, Republican legislators attempted to petition the North Carolina Supreme Court to toss out precedent, re-hear Harper v. Hall, and overturn the case. We filed a motion to dismiss this frivolous petition–a petition that has absolutely no basis in law. Read more about this motion here.

Review both the previously invalidated and 2022 approved Congressional plans below.

Selected Filings:

Supreme Court of the United States

NC Supreme Court Appeal on Remedial Maps

Superior Court Three-Judge Panel Remedy Stage

NC Supreme Court First Appeal

Superior Court Three-Judge Panel Trial

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