by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias, one of the top attorneys in the nation pushing back against GOP redistricting and voting policy, could see his efforts stifled if the Supreme Court rules against him in an upcoming court case, according to the conservative-leaning Honest Elections Project.
Elias, a lifelong Democrat who suffered a 2021 defeat at the Supreme Court level, is behind another major voting case before the high court this fall that is poised to redefine state congressional redistricting efforts. For Elias, he considers it a valiant fight for democracy, but if he falls short once again, Democrats may lose access to a major tool to challenge gerrymandering, according to Jason Snead, the executive director of the Honest Elections Project.
The case in question is Moore v. Harper, a dispute that stems from a lower court victory by Elias’s legal team when it represented Democratic voters in the state who took aim at a Republican-drawn North Carolina congressional redistricting map that was ruled as a partisan gerrymander by the state Supreme Court. Now, Elias is fighting for the Supreme Court to uphold the inferior court’s determination after Republican state lawmakers successfully petitioned the justices to take up the case.
“A sound, constitutional ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court would be a major blow to Elias’s program to use courts to rewrite democratically enacted election laws for partisan gain,” Snead, whose groupfiled an amicus brief in the Moore case, told the Washington Examiner. Conversely, a ruling favoring the state Supreme Court’s decision would “leave the door wide open to the left’s anti-democracy campaign, which has saturated the courts with politicized lawsuits and introduced chaos to our elections,” Snead added.