Courthouse Steps Oral Argument: Moore v. Harper

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On December 7, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Moore v. Harper.

Following the most recent census, North Carolina gained a House seat, and its legislature adopted a new district map. The state’s supreme court deemed that map a partisan gerrymander and substituted in its place the court’s own map. That result, it concluded, was required by four separate parts of the state constitution, including clauses protecting the “freedom of speech” and guaranteeing “free” elections. Although the Supreme Court denied an emergency request to block that ruling for the 2022 election, it agreed to take the case to answer the broader question of state-court authority over the laws governing federal elections. 

Supporters of legislature primacy—often called the “independent state legislature” doctrine—say that a decision enforcing the doctrine will cut back on election-litigation gamesmanship, end the disruption of last-minute rule changes, and put primary responsibility back in the hands of democratically accountable legislators. Opponents, however, say that a decision for the state would threaten voting rights and democracy itself. 

We will break down the oral argument for this case on the same day, December 7, 2022.


Andrew M. Grossman, partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP, co-leader of the firm’s Appellate and Major Motions practice, and Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute


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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.