Updated: Jan 1
--Excerpt: The 'independent state legislature doctrine' is a longtime favorite of conservative legal thinkers and Republicans.
The Supreme Court decided to hear an important new case that Republicans hope will re-empower state legislatures to make rules for redistricting and governing congressional and presidential elections.
Republicans say the U.S. Constitution has always directly authorized state legislatures to make rules for the conduct of elections, including presidential elections. Democrats say this idea, encompassed by the Independent State Legislature Doctrine, is a fringe conservative legal theory that could endanger voting rights. The Supreme Court has reportedly never ruled on the doctrine.
The doctrine, if endorsed by the high court, could allow state legislatures to select presidential electors in disputed elections, something critics decry as a threat to democracy.
Election law expert J. Christian Adams, a former U.S. Department of Justice civil rights attorney who now heads the Public Interest Legal Foundation, an election integrity group, praised the Supreme Court for granting the case, which he said was “very important.”
“It means that the Court may take up all the nonsense that has been occurring over the last 10 years,” Adams told The Epoch Times by email….
The elections clause in Article 1 states: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”
The presidential electors clause in Article 2 gives each state the power to appoint presidential electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.”
Three Supreme Court justices have said the doctrine applied in the Bush v. Gore case that resolved the disputed 2000 presidential election.
And there's this hot potato:
--Excerpt: The majority opinion on West Virginia vs EPA, and the concurring opinion by Neil Gorsuch may reveal where things are headed, “toward a major and much-welcome curbing of the power of the administrative state.”
This thing is the unelected bureaucracy that rules the country without oversight from voters or legislatures. For well over 100 years, most courts have given it a pass, just assuming that the experts in the bureaucracies are handling things just fine, faithfully interpreting legislation, and merely creating rules for easy compliance.
Over generations this 4th branch of government has grown in size, scope, and strength. For the most part, its baneful impositions have been felt by one business or one industry at a time. The car dealer complains of how the Department of Labor is making him crazy. The machine-parts manufacturer is going bonkers about letters from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The energy company can never satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency.
Most of us find these stories unfortunate, but may have tended to avoid thinking of these as systematic, all pervasive, and truly dangerous to the notion of freedom itself.
However, there are some 432 of these agencies.
The authors of the Declaration of Independence noted their existence back in the day when they accused the English king of having “erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.” They fought a revolution to end the tyranny but now we have a home-grown form, starting in 1883 with the Pendleton Act and continuing throughout the 20th century as each new administration creates its own bureaucracy.
The thing has taken on a power of its own. Strangely, the topic hardly comes up at all during elections, and this is for a reason. Politicians running for office like to advertise their power to make change. They might even believe it. In reality, elected officials have very little influence over the conduct of public life relative to the administrative state. As Trump found out, not even the president is a match for the deep state.
Since March 2020 the beast showed its face. Seemingly out of nowhere, these strange agencies and people for whom we never voted were ruling our lives. They restricted travel, forced us to cover our faces, closed our churches and schools, and forbade our businesses from operating unless they were big enough to afford a powerful lobbying arm in Washington. The scene was appalling. It caused many people—including some earnest judges—to take notice.
Once you see the problem, you cannot unsee it….
The Supreme Court in its most recent decision was dealing with a technical aspect of how regulations applied to a coal plant, but the implications of the decision are much larger.
The EPA was determining policy, even making it, riffing wildly on legislation with the presumption that courts will always and everywhere defer to the agency over industry and even over the words of the legislation. The court said NO. The EPA that had been operating illegally all along.
This decision is so startling because it shows a Supreme Court doing what it is supposed to do, serving as a legal check on the power ambitions of government itself….
“When you consider the implications of this one decision, they are awesome. It doesn’t just apply to the EPA and its elaborate plans for changing the global climate through command and control. It also applies to every other agency, including the CDC and even the Federal Reserve itself. They all should be accountable to the people through their elected representatives. If we cannot get back to that system, we will lose everything.” the author wrote.