The American institution will decide in the coming months on the right for each state to decide (or not) on the division of electoral constituencies. A decision that could have major consequences for the 2024 elections. Some Democrats are warning of a possible “judicial coup.”
The American Supreme Court continues to be talked about. After challenging Roe v. Wade on abortion and after having limited the means of the federal state to fight against global warming, one of the highest American institutions could soon redraw the political landscape of the first world power.
The nine judges of the Supreme Court will study during their next session, probably in the fall, the Moore v. Harper, which deals with the electoral boundaries of the state of North Carolina, in the east of the country.
In this state, the Republicans redistributed the electoral map in 2020, allowing them to obtain ten of the fourteen seats, while North Carolina is one of those famous swing-states, where voters are very divided between Democrats and Republicans .
The division of constituencies in the Swing-States could raise questions
The Supreme Court of North Carolina therefore logically considered that the division of the constituencies “was not explained by the political geography” of the state, says the Washington Post. Partisan electoral redistricting, otherwise known as Gerrymandering in English, is often denounced in the United States.
Except that, for the Republican Tim Moore, article 1 of the American Constitution prevails. This provides that “the manner of proceeding with the elections of senators and representatives [doit être décidée] in every state by [l’Assemblée] of this one.” And therefore, in North Carolina, by the Republicans, who have a majority of elected officials there.
In the event of a judgment favorable to the plaintiff Moore, each of the 30 states where the Republicans have a majority could see their constituencies redistributed to ensure a greater number of elected officials.
And more broadly, in a strict reading of the text, the organization of the elections could be decided by the local Assemblies, without possible veto of the governor of each State.
“We are witnessing a judicial coup”
A scenario that greatly worries the Democrats. “That means Trump’s Republican Party won’t need a post-election coup to install him as president in 2024. They can just change the rules in the swing-states in advance to make sure they get the outcome they want,” said Mallory McMorrow, a Democratic senator from Michigan.
“We are witnessing a judicial coup”, launches the progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who calls on her Democratic and Republican colleagues to recognize the “constitutional crisis” that America is experiencing. The New Yorker denounces an “excess of power” of the Supreme Court.
Composed of nine judges, the institution will have to find a majority within it to agree with Tim Moore, which is not guaranteed. But after the Court’s ultra-conservative decisions in recent days, such a scenario cannot be ruled out, according to the American press. This case “should alarm all those who care about democracy”, warns the online media Vox.