SCOTUS rules against ‘independent state legislature theory’

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to impose new limits on state courts reviewing certain election-related issues by ruling against Republicans in North Carolina, who are fighting for a congressional district map that would heavily favor their candidates.

In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled the North Carolina Supreme Court was within its authority when it concluded a Republican-drawn map of the state’s congressional districts was a partisan gerrymander under the state’s constitution.

The ruling dismissed the argument known as “independent state legislature theory,” which some Republicans believe limits the authority of state courts to strike down election laws.

Conservatives had hoped the high court would broaden the power of state legislatures which are often under GOP control.

Voting rights groups applauded the decision believing it closes down a path to what could have been a radical overhaul of the nation’s election laws.

The court’s three Democratic appointees were joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts as well as Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented.

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