On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Moore v. Harper, a redistricting-related case from North Carolina that raises a radical legal theory that could dramatically upend how federal elections are overseen.
The “independent state legislature theory” is a fringe interpretation of the Constitution’s Elections Clause under which only state legislatures have the authority to regulate federal elections.
While the arguments in Moore v. Harper are perhaps the most brazen recent attempt by state legislators to concentrate their power to oversee elections, similar efforts have marked many state legislative sessions since the 2020 election.
The spate of state-level voting restrictions that emerged after the 2020 election demonstrated the enormous power state legislators already can have over people’s access to voting. This week, Ohio lawmakers held hearings on several new far-reaching measures that would make it harder to vote — including a photo-ID requirement as well as restrictions on mail-in ballots, early voting, and ballot drop boxes — that are being pushed by Republicans in the legislature. Here are other voting-rights stories from this week: