Thursday, June 30, 2022

You thought this term was bad...

The Supreme Court's decision to take a case that will let it adopt the Independent State Legislature Doctrine is one of the worst decisions out of the Supreme Court this week (and this week was filled with absolutely abysmal Supreme Court decisions). Under the Independent State Legislatures Doctrine, a state legislature can simply decide to assign the state's electoral votes to a different candidate than the one that got the most votes in the state. With most state legislatures heavily gerrymandered, there is almost no incentive for state legislators to follow the will of the people so this could mean the end anything resembling democratic presidential elections in this country.

In 2020, for example, Republicans controlled both chambers of the state legislature in Arizona, GeorgiaMichigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all states that voted for Biden. Each of those state legislatures could have passed a bill stating they doubted the election's integrity and would assign the states electoral votes to Trump, which would have given him a second term. The fact that three of those states have a Democratic governor would not matter. If the Supreme Court adopts a strict version of the ISL Doctrine, it is the state legislature that decides. The governor has no say, so there would be no veto of a counter-majoritarian reassignment of electoral votes.

It is totally nuts. And it really would mean an end to democracy as we know it in the U.S. People need to be screaming at this now. And maybe ditch the technical sounding "Independent State Legislature Doctrine" label and just note that the Supreme Court is cuing up a case to end democracy next year.