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The Future of American Democracy

August 01, 2022

Prof. Kermit Roosevelt and Lecturer in Law Jason Abel L’03 discuss what the Supreme Court’s decision to hear Moore v. Harper could mean for our democracy.

Kermit Roosevelt, David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice, and Jason Abel L’03, Lecturer in Law, recently spoke to Penn Today about the upcoming Supreme Court case, Moore v. Harper, and about voting rights, election law, and the future of American democracy.

From Penn Today:

The United States Supreme Court announced last month that it will hear a partisan gerrymandering case next term, one that critics say has the potential to wreak havoc on American democracy. At issue in Moore v. Harper is the “independent state legislature” theory, a controversial idea that, under the U.S. Constitution, state legislatures have the power to regulate federal elections, without interference from state courts.

Earlier this year, the North Carolina Supreme Court blocked the state from using congressional maps drawn by Republican state lawmakers. Democrats and others had challenged the maps, saying they were unfairly gerrymandered in favor of Republicans. The North Carolina GOP is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that it is unconstitutional for state courts to have oversight in federal elections.

Roosevelt called the Supreme Court’s decision to hear Moore v. Harper “unsettling,” while Abel characterized the case as “ominous clouds on the horizon” after the “rough waters” faced by our democracy over the past several years.

Read more of Roosevelt’s and Abel’s insights at Penn Today.