The Supreme Court considers voting rights in the United States

In the United States, voting rights are under scrutiny as the US Supreme Court considers a case that could have a significant impact on who will have the final say on voting rights issues in the state moving forward. On Wednesday, the justices heard arguments for a theory about voting rights that some Republicans have championed for years and contradicts the traditional reading of the Constitution. A ruling is expected next year.

According to the “independent state legislature theory,” legislators are not bound by the individual state’s constitution, and thus are not bound by local court decisions when it comes to states’ election law issues. Donald Trump’s supporters tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost. It is feared that the acceptance of this theory by the Supreme Court will have dire consequences for democracy.

US Supreme Court.Photo: Cornerstone

The three liberal justices complained on Wednesday that the theory could undermine the separation of powers and thus mutual control over constitutional bodies. Judge Elena Kagan said that control would only be removed when it was most needed. The Whig majority on the court was somewhat divided. At least three of the six right-wing conservative justices have shown themselves open to the theory in the past and have now argued accordingly at the hearing.

The lawsuit being negotiated now comes from North Carolina. There, the Democrats successfully went to court against the redistricting. Then the Republicans turned to the Supreme Court and argued the “theory of an independent state legislature.” Experts worry that the ruling party may pass restrictive electoral laws that prevent certain sectors of the population from voting. Ultimately, however, the application of theory can also affect the validation—that is, the official confirmation—of election results. (saw/sda/dpa)

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