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Republican election officials are backing the radical theory to upend US elections

WASHINGTON, DC In a new brief, nine Republican secretaries of state are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a Pennsylvania case undermining the state’s independent legislature theory, a radical legal theory that could disrupt U.S. elections.

The “friend of the court” brief filed Tuesday by Republican secretaries of state – from Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Wyoming and West Virginia – states that the introduction of a law by President Joe Biden (D) The executive order on voting violates the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, Republican Secretaries of State claim that the “policy of Executive Order 14019 usurps the legislative power of the states and Congress” and puts pressure on the radical ISL theory.

The Republican secretaries of state are in the company of eleven Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives and a far-right think tank, the Claremont Institute, which has also filed “friend of the court” briefs in support of the radical ISL theory about Tuesday. The Biden administration has waived its right to respond to the petition before the Supreme Court.

If the ISL theory is adopted by the Supreme Court, it could mean that only state legislatures can regulate federal elections. In practice, this could mean that all other parts of state government—governors, the courts, the people, or even the state constitutions themselves—would be unable to set the rules for elections. Last June, the Supreme Court rejected this theory in a 6-3 decision Moore to Harper.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in… Moore to HarperRepublicans have tried to revive the theory through new lawsuits. In January, Republican state lawmakers from the Keystone State filed a lawsuit claiming that Biden’s Executive Order 14019, which was passed in 2021 to promote voting rights, violates the U.S. Constitution. The executive order directs the federal government to explore a variety of efforts to expand voting rights, including making federal employees and resources available to assist polling place staff, and allowing federal agencies to share data with states seeking to establish automatic voter registration. .

The court previously dismissed the case for lack of standing, but in late April the Republican plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to hear their case while an appeal was pending before the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Arguing that only Congress “can enact federal laws preempting state statutory provisions governing the times, places, and manner of congressional elections,” the Republican lawmakers who filed the case argue that Biden’s executive order and other challenged policies do not can be implemented in Pennsylvania.

Now nine Republican secretaries of state are also asking the Supreme Court to take up this radical challenge. “The Elections Clause provides that states, and not the President of the United States, shall regulate state voter registration systems and the designation of other agencies to provide voter registration services,” the letter argues, further advancing the radical idea that only state legislatures can regulate elections. .

Read the short summary here.


Read more about the case here.

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