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How a Supreme Court case from North Carolina could upend our democratic system

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, R.-Cleveland, is seen in an undated file photo from his Facebook page.
NC House Speaker Tim Moore/Facebook
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, R.-Cleveland, is seen in an undated file photo from his Facebook page.

A U.S. Supreme Court case drawing national attention has roots in North Carolina and could impact the future of our democratic system.

Moore v. Harper was brought by Republican legislators in our state who question whether a state Supreme Court has the right to throw out congressional redistricting maps, which happened this past year in North Carolina.

They say the U.S. Constitution gives broad power to state legislatures to oversee elections, regardless of the state constitution, and state courts could do little or nothing to stop them. This is known as the independent state legislature theory. It refers to Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution which states: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.”

Proponents argue for this narrow reading of the Constitution, but critics say that was not the intention of the founders and it goes against centuries of precedent.

Mike Collins and our panel of guests dive into this theory and what the outcome could mean for the future of the American voting system.


Chris Parker, assistant professor of political science and pre-law advisor at the University of Rhode Island

Will Doran, political reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer

Jason Husser, associate professor of political science and policy studies and director of the Elon Poll

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Gabe Altieri is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Prior to joining WFAE in 2022, he worked for WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, New York.