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U.S. Supreme Court Shuts Door on Fringe Legal Theory

June 27, 2023
C. Allison Russo News

COLUMBUS – House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) calls today’s Moore v. Harper ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that rejects the so-called “independent state legislature theory” that gives unchecked power to gerrymandered state legislatures a victory for the constitutional authority granted to the state’s courts and to the people of Ohio.

“Today's decision from the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirms what we already knew – extreme and gerrymandered state legislatures don't have unlimited power in our democracy,” said Leader Russo. “A basic principle of our government is a strong system of checks-and-balances, and legislatures operating without these checks are ripe for corruption and outsized power that leaves them unaccountable to citizens.”

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, “the Elections Clause does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of judicial review.”

In an attempt to weaken the foundation of democracy last year, Republican leaders on the Ohio Redistricting Commission appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court a second ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court ordering them to redraw congressional maps intended for the 2022 elections citing the “independent state legislature theory.” Huffman v. Neiman is still pending with the U.S. Supreme Court, but today’s ruling nullified the “independent state legislative theory” argument which would open the door to extreme partisan gerrymandering that would suppress voters and subvert elections.