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The Brennan Center fought to stop a dubious legal theory that threatened catastrophic consequences for elections.

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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 nearly unchecked 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 posed rose in the wake of the 2020 election as several sitting justices of the Supreme Court voiced their interest in making it the new law of the land.

The Brennan Center and its allies averted this worst-case scenario, when they mobilized to secure a Supreme Court ruling rejecting this fringe theory in the case Moore v. Harper. Now, the Brennan Center is using litigation and communications projects to ensure that the Court’s ruling shores up protections against election subversion.