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The States Project’s Statement on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Independent State Legislature Case (Moore v. Harper)

In a victory for our democracy, the Supreme Court has ruled against rightwing extremists in Moore v. Harper, rejecting for now the radical argument that state legislative majorities have unchecked control over federal elections. This is the same fringe legal theory used by Donald Trump and his allies to try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The response was clear: state legislatures have a lot of power, but this is unconstitutional.

In response to the Court’s ruling, The States Project’s Founding Partner Daniel Squadron released the following statement:

“Today, the Supreme Court preserved some of the checks and balances on which our democracy stands: state lawmakers do not have unchecked authority to decide if we have free and fair elections.

“But, the fact that this was a question shows just how powerful state legislatures are – and will continue to be – in defending our democracy, protecting individual rights, and improving lives. Just this year, we have already seen rightwing state lawmakers advance hundreds of laws across the country that have made it harder for Americans to vote and for their votes to be counted. And it was just one year ago that this same Court erased the Constitutional right to abortion and handed that power to state lawmakers.

“Make no mistake, rightwing state legislative majorities will continue to test the limits of their power on issue after issue with a hyper-conservative federal judiciary. Rather than a signal that state legislatures can be overlooked, this must be an alarm bell that means who holds power in these chambers will determine the future of our country.

“That’s why the States Project remains committed to building and defending pro-democracy majorities in states like Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and all across the country. Our democracy may have survived in court today, but we will still have to defend it at the ballot box tomorrow.”