Carolyn Shapiro Examines Independent State Legislature Theory and Voting Rights

Carolyn Shapiro (’97), Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the U.S. at Chicago-Kent College of Law, coauthored an opinion piece for The Washington Post warning that a Supreme Court ruling in Moore v. Harper could undermine state voting protections, as it looks to consider whether the Constitution prevents a state court from determining whether the state legislature violated the state constitution in setting rules for federal elections (“A New Supreme Court Case Threatens Another Body Blow to Our Democracy,” July 2). “With . . . Moore v. Harper, the justices will review a North Carolina Supreme Court decision holding that the state constitution prohibits extreme partisan gerrymanders. The Supreme Court’s choice to take the case could presage yet another decision that will undermine democracy, by prohibiting other government institutions — here, state courts — from protecting voting rights and democracy. . . . Given that the court, in overturning Roe, has just handed over what used to be a fundamental right to the political process, there could not be a worse time for making our democratic process less democratic.”