Skip Navigation

The Brennan Center is fighting to stop a dubious legal theory that could have catastrophic consequences for elections.

Defend Our Elections Defend Our Elections

Why It Matters

The “inde­pend­ent state legis­lature theory” is a misread­ing of the Consti­tu­tion, advanced in recent years by a small group of right-wing advoc­ates, that would give state legis­latures wide author­ity to gerrymander elect­oral maps and pass voter suppres­sion laws. It has even been used as polit­ical cover to try to over­turn elec­tions. At its core, the theory challenges longstanding checks and balances on state legislatures when they make laws for federal elections. The danger that this unorthodox theory poses has risen in recent years as several sitting justices of the Supreme Court have voiced their interest in making it the new law of the land. 

But there’s still time to protect our elections. The Brennan Center is mobilizing to block this threat through a combination of litigation and communications projects designed to shore up the legal protections for fair elections and fair maps.


Who Protects Your Vote?

The independent state legislature theory is a dubious reading of the Constitution that would make it easier for legislators to manipulate elections and suppress votes.