States Legislatures, Not Courts, Have Authority Over Federal Elections in their States: ALEC Attorneys
The question for the justices in the North Carolina case, Moore v. Harper, is whether state courts can override this constitutionally granted authority of state legislatures.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a case that threatens the constitutionally granted power of state legislatures to determine the “times, places, and manner of federal elections.” The question for the justices in the North Carolina case, Moore v. Harper, is whether state courts can override this constitutionally granted authority of state legislatures.
The American Legislative Exchange Council submitted a friend of the court brief in the case. ALEC and its members, who are state legislators, have a strong interest in this case as Article I of the U.S. Constitution expressly provides that rules for federal congressional elections are established in each state by the state legislature. The North Carolina Supreme Court disregarded that clear command, unconstitutionally substituting its own redistricting preferences. As the ALEC brief outlines, the decision made by the North Carolina Supreme Court is clearly in error and must be reversed as a state constitutional provision cannot withdraw or limit the Federal Constitution’s express grant of authority to state legislatures. ALEC attorneys Bartlett Cleland and Lee Goodman have been featured prominently in national and local media interviews this week explaining the facts of the case and why it is so important to the authority of state legislatures.
“If the North Carolina decision is permitted to stand, state courts will usurp the prerogatives of state legislatures. As stated by the U.S. Supreme Court just two years ago, ‘The Constitution provides that state legislatures—not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials—bear primary responsibility for setting election rules.'” – Bartlett Cleland, ALEC Counsel
“The Framers could have assigned the power over federal elections in the first instance to states, without specifying which entity of state government would have primary responsibility. But recognizing that prescribing the times, places, and manner of federal elections is fundamentally a legislative role, the Framers specified that this delegated power would be exercised by ‘the Legislature thereof.’” – Lee Goodman, author of ALEC Moore v. Harper amicus brief
Below are links to news clips featuring ALEC attorneys.