U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Moore v. Harper

June 27, 2023

On June 27, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina’s top court did not overstep its bounds in striking down a congressional districting plan as excessively partisan under state law, rejecting the independent state legislature theory and ruling that state courts have the power to review election laws and maps enacted by state legislatures.

In support of the 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that “state courts retain the authority to apply state constitutional restraints when legislatures act under the power conferred upon them by the Elections Clause.”

Petitioners in Moore had argued that state courts should be barred from reviewing claims of gerrymandering and sought to vacate a decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court striking down the North Carolina legislature’s gerrymandered congressional map for violating the North Carolina Constitution.

On October 26, 2022, Cleary Gottlieb filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Human Rights Watch, the largest international human rights organization based in the United States, in support of respondents in Moore v. Harper.

Read the amicus brief here and the Supreme Court’s opinion here.