The Supreme Court today, June 27, issued its ruling in Moore v. Harper to decide whether the Elections Clause of the Constitution vests state legislatures with authority to set rules governing federal elections free from restrictions imposed under state law. They do not.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion – which was joined by Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Jackson. He wrote “We are asked to decide whether the Elections Clause carves out an exception to this basic principle. We hold that it does not. The Elections Clause does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of state judicial review.”
Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion in which Justices Gorsuch and Alito concurred with in part. Thomas’ dissent focused on how lower courts would rely on the decision going forward. He objected to the majority’s ruling because he thought it muddied the waters for future lower court judges. Thomas wrote:
“As the majority offers no clear rationale for its interpretation of the Clause, it is impossible to be sure what the consequences of that interpretation will be. However, judging from the majority’s brief sketch of the regime it envisions, I worry that today’s opinion portends serious troubles ahead for the Judiciary.”
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