In November 2021, voters and non-profit organizations challenged the extreme partisan gerrymander of North Carolina’s congressional map, contending that it violated the state constitution’s “free elections clause,” among other provisions.
On February 4, 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that the gerrymandered map was unconstitutional. After the legislature proposed another gerrymander for a replacement map, the state trial court, pursuant to a process created by the legislature, adopted a special-master drawn plan for the 2022 congressional elections.
On February 25, 2022, two North Carolina legislators asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay of the state court decisions, relying on the radical “independent state legislature” theory. The Supreme Court denied the application for a stay on March 7, 2022.
On March 17, 2022, the state legislators petitioned for a writ of certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to hear the case on the merits. The Court decided to take the case on June 30, 2022, adding it to its list of cases to be argued during the term that begins this fall.
The immediate issue in Moore is whether the state legislators’ extreme partisan gerrymander will stand in North Carolina. In arguing for this outcome, the legislators have asked the Court to embrace the “independent state legislature” theory for the first time. If adopted by the Supreme Court, the theory could wreak havoc on American democracy. Find more resources about the dangers of the “independent state legislature” theory here.
Briefing on Application for Stay
- Legislators’ Application for Emergency Stay (February 25, 2022)
- North Carolina State Respondents’ Response in Opposition to Emergency Stay (March 2, 2022)
- Harper Respondents’ Response in Opposition to Emergency Stay (March 2, 2022)
- North Carolina League of Conservation Voters’ Response in Opposition to Emergency Stay (March 2, 2022)
- Common Cause’s Response in Opposition to Emergency Stay (March 2, 2022)
- Order Denying Stay (March 7, 2022)
Briefing on Petition for Certiorari
- Legislators’ Petition for Writ of Certiorari (March 17, 2022)
- North Carolina League of Conservation Voters’ Response (May 20, 2022)
- North Carolina State Respondents’ Response (May 20, 2022)
- Common Cause’s Response (May 20, 2022)
- Harper’s Response (May 20, 2022)
- Legislators’ Reply (May 27, 2022)
Related Blogs and Reports
- Ethan Herenstein and Thomas Wolf, The ‘Independent State Legislature Theory,’ Explained, June 6, 2022
- Thomas Wolf and Ethan Herenstein, The Case that Could Blow Up American Election Law, July 11, 2022
- Eliza Sweren-Becker, A Debunked Legal Theory Could Be Used to Turn Our Elections into Chaos, June 30, 2022
- Michael Waldman, Putting Elections into the Wrong Hands, April 26, 2022