Group of former Republican elected officials and those that worked in Republican federal administrations argue that the Court must reject the North Carolina legislators’ arguments under the Supremacy Clause, as there is nothing that elevates state statutes above a state’s constitution. Additionally, the Tenth Amendment protects the right of a state’s people to constrain its legislature through its constitution.
Constitutional scholars and historians, including the co-chair of the Federalist Society, that argue the Court must reject the North Carolina legislators’ claims as a matter of originalism because state legislatures are creatures of state constitutions and have no greater authority than their constitutions. Amici also argue that the Court need not reach the issue of ISLT because the North Carolina legislature had already gave judicial review authority to its state courts on redistricting.
Amicus brief of Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21, End Citizens United//Let America Vote Action Fund, National Council of Jewish Women, Inc., OneVirginia2021, RepresentUs, Republican Women for Progress, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice, and Voters Not Politicians
Group of democracy reform, public policy, advocacy, and faith-based organizations argue that ISLT must be rejected because it would be disastrously harmful by eliminating all judicial remedies for partisan gerrymandering and threaten independent redistricting commissions. This would contribute to increasing political polarization, rendering general elections uncompetitive and hurt representative democracy.
Elections law Professor Richard Hasen argues that ISLT would lead to a flood of new litigation in federal courts that will further destabilize elections and decrease public confidence in the judiciary and elections system.
A group of retired four-star admirals and generals, and former service secretaries of the U.S. armed forces argue in their brief that the North Carolina legislators’ arguments are profoundly destabilizing and undemocratic that would diminish election integrity and undermine public confidence in elections, threatening national security and threatening the military’s ability to operate effectively. They also argue ISLT will disenfranchise active duty military servicemembers and their families.
The Brennan Center’s amicus brief argues that ISLT is inconsistent with how election law is made and practiced nationwide and throughout history, providing examples of election laws and policies enacted in state constitutions, through direct democracy, or by state and local elections officials that would be vulnerable under ISLT. They emphasize that adopting ISLT would create chaos in elections.
Nonpartisan organization formed for the implementation of Florida’s Fair Districts Amendment emphasizes that state constitutions have authority to provide standards to govern partisan gerrymandering for state courts to apply, including Florida’s Fair Districts Amendment. Amici argue that North Carolina’s legislature and voters have explicitly endorsed the state constitutional provisions that the state supreme court applied.
Fifteen civil rights organizations, labor unions, and lawyers’ associations argue that state courts state constitutions have an essential role to play to protect voting rights, and that ISLT conflicts with bedrock principles of federalism. They emphasize that state constitutions can provide more voting rights protections than the federal constitution, which is necessary to protect voters of color from discriminatory voting laws.
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger stresses that ISLT would upset the checks and balances in states for congressional redistricting, and that the theory is incoherent and standardless. Gov. Schwarzenegger urges the Court to adhere to precedent that state constitutions constrain state legislatures and to reject ISLT.
Republican election law expert argues that the independent state legislature theory threatens to further erode confidence in election administration by causing confusion and forcing federal courts to play a greater role in resolving elections disputes, all at a time when faith in election integrity is at “a low ebb.”
Thirteen Secretaries of State, as chief elections officials in their states, argue that under history and precedent, the Supreme Court has recognized state judicial review over election laws, including in federal elections. They argue that the independent state legislature theory would would cause unprecedented election administration problems and massive uncertainty.