On Dec. 7, the United States Supreme Court heard the case of Moore v. Harper (the so-called “Independent State Legislative Theory” or ISLT) that will determine if state legislatures have the power and authority to run federal elections in their states without the checks and balances of oversight by their state courts.
Checks and balances are at the cornerstone of democracy, and that oversight protects fairer voting maps and voter rights. This case has the potential to impact voters nationwide, and Illinois voters should be aware of its possible effects.
The League of Women Voters has serious concerns about this case because a ruling adopting ISLT would give state legislatures nearly unrestricted authority to set the rules for federal elections, prioritizing the ambitions of politicians over the American voter.
Furthermore, if the Supreme Court condones this theory, it will undermine the role of state courts to protect voters when politicians create unconstitutional barriers to voting, draw unlawful voting maps and invalidate direct democracy efforts like ballot initiatives.
In Illinois, the League of Women Voters has worked to advance election law that improves and protects voter access and eliminates barriers to voting. Fair and accessible elections are the cornerstone of our representative democracy.
Removing the power of the governor and the courts to check any action by the state legislature regarding elections would be antithetical to our American system.
Federal 2022 elections may be behind us, but the League of Women Voters continues advocacy for protecting fair elections and voter rights all year long.
Lara Taylor and Michele Niccolai, co-presidents
League of Women Voters of the La Grange Area