NORTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A danger to democracy or enforcement of our Constitution?
North Carolina takes center stage Wednesday at the U.S. Supreme Court in a high-stakes election hearing. The case is called “Moore v. Harper.”
The Harper in that crucial case? She said it’s more about legitimate elections.
“I’m not an attorney. I’m just a voter who’s very concerned,” said Becky Harper.
Harper and a group called Common Cause North Carolina sued N.C. Republicans, saying they illegally drew redistricting maps in favor of their candidates. The Court adopted a different map used in this past election, resulting in a 7-7 Congressional split in North Carolina.
“This case is so important because I care about fair elections,” she said. “And, really, I’m fundamentally concerned about polarization and extremism that we’ve seen in our politics.”
N.C. Republicans believe the State Supreme Court overstepped and asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.
“The Republicans’ argument is that the literal text of the constitution says the word legislature and gives that legislature the power to make election-related law for federal elections,” said Eric Heberlig, Professor of Political Science at UNC Charlotte.
Opponents argue the Constitution reads differently, that checks and balances should exist and that the courts should review the actions of the legislatures.
The Supreme Court’s decision will apply nationally. If they rule, the legislature has total authority to draw district lines, that’ll give power to the part in the majority.
“That may advantage Republicans in North Carolina but will advantage Democrats in areas where the Democrats have strength,” Heberlig said.
This case has the potential to go beyond redistricting. Critics said voting rights and the acceptance of election results could also be at risk.
The Court has a whole range of options in how they decide this case. They will likely release a decision in the spring.