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The Flimsy Legal Theory That Could Upend American Elections

The Flimsy Legal Theory That Could Upend American Elections

Update: 2023-06-072
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There’s a connection between Bush v. Gore, gerrymandering in North Carolina, and Donald Trump’s legal challenges to the 2020 election: they’ve all been justified by a dubious legal idea called the “independent-state-legislature theory,” or I.S.L.T. Its proponents argue that the Constitution gives state legislatures complete authority over elections, even the authority to override the popular vote. In a story by Andrew Marantz in this week’s magazine, Laurence Tribe, a law professor emeritus at Harvard, says I.S.L.T. was “pulled out of somebody’s butt.” Leah Litman, a law professor at the University of Michigan, calls it “right-wing fanfic.” But, as fringe as it may be, this theory is now before the Supreme Court, in the case Moore v. Harper. Marantz joins Tyler Foggatt to discuss how the theory took hold and what the consequences of the Supreme Court decision could be.

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The Flimsy Legal Theory That Could Upend American Elections

The Flimsy Legal Theory That Could Upend American Elections

WNYC Studios and The New Yorker