Washington Post Editorial Board Offers Grim Warning About Supreme Court's 'Next Move'

It "might cripple our democracy," the editorial board wrote.

The Washington Post editorial board warned readers on Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s next move “might cripple our democracy.”

In an opinion piece, the newspaper editorial board criticized the court’s recent decision to hear Moore v. Harper, a case in North Carolina that could imperil voting rights and decimate protections against extreme partisan gerrymandering.

“Our democracy’s path rests mostly with the Supreme Court. If five justices overturn the North Carolina decision, they will know what they are doing, which is writing a recipe for election tampering,” the Post editorial board wrote. “They will also know why they are doing it: not because the Constitution demands it, but because they can.”

The case centers around congressional maps drawn by state Republican legislators in North Carolina after the 2020 census. The state’s Supreme Court ruled in February that the maps were unfairly gerrymandered in favor of Republicans in violation of the state’s constitution.

Republicans in the state legislature are appealing a new map drawn by the state Supreme Court, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to endorse a radical legal theory that would block state courts from their role in enforcing the election clauses of state constitutions.

A ruling in favor of this argument would eliminate one of the last remaining checks on extreme partisan gerrymandering and could also have a major effect on the 2024 presidential election.

“Should the Supreme Court buy into this radical doctrine, governors and other state and local officials responsible for running elections might also end up with their hands tied,” the editorial board wrote.

The board warned this could lead to state legislatures overruling voters.

“It could also create manifold opportunities for mischief of the sort then-President Donald Trump and his allies attempted in 2020: Legislatures might remain restrained from deciding to ignore the popular vote and appoint their own slates of electors after the fact of a lost presidential race, but they could plausibly pass laws ahead of time establishing a process that allows them to do just that,” the editorial board wrote.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in its fall 2022 session.

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