Wendy Weiser Profile picture
May 17 7 tweets 5 min read
NEW! You may have heard of a radical and anti-democratic new legal theory being pushed by conservative legal activists that could insulate state legislatures from virtually any checks against abuses in their regulation of federal elections. #electionsubversion🧵
The innocuously-named "independent state legislature" theory is deeply dangerous: If adopted by #SCOTUS, it would upend voting rights, redistricting reforms, & election administration. In its extreme form, it could even enable state legislatures to overturn federal elections.
Indeed, prominent conservative jurist #MichaelLuttig called the "independent state legislature" theory the "cornerstone of the plan" to overturn the #2020election and warned of ongoing danger for 2024. cnn.com/2022/04/27/opi…
Alarmingly, 4 justices signaled support for this theory in recent "shadow docket" opinions. And now there is a petition pending before #SCOTUS asking the Court to use this theory to nullify a ruling by the NC S Ct against the state's gerrymandered maps brennancenter.org/our-work/analy…
The "independent state legislature" theory is not only dangerous; it is also wrong--as a matter of history, text, practice, and policy. A wave of recent scholarship debunks it from every conceivable angle. We collect and describe that scholarship here: brennancenter.org/our-work/resea…
There are a lot of reasons to be worried about the future of #freeandfairelections in America. This is a big one. But the #IndependentStateLegislature theory can still be stopped. It is so wrong and so overwhelmingly damaging that it will be very hard for Justices to justify it.
Our new guide features important recent scholarship by @Prof_Amar @JoshuaADouglas @markskrass @JasonMarisam @MiriamSeifter @chsaplaw @emilyrongzhang @swerenbecker @mawaldman on the myriad problems w/the ISL theory. We will continue to update it here. brennancenter.org/our-work/resea…

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More from @WendyRWeiser

Jan 13
Some worry that making changes to the filibuster (there are more than 160 already) will make the Senate more polarized—more like the House—undermining the stability of federal policy. /1
This concern is driven by how polarized our politics has grown. To prove the point, Mitch McConnell (using comic-villain language) threatened to burn down the Senate if Democrats alter the filibuster to pass critical voting & democracy reforms. /2
Of course, this concern is overblown: the filibuster has not saved the Senate from becoming dysfunctional & polarized or ensured stable federal laws and policies. /3
Read 27 tweets
Jan 13
As the #FreedomToVote #JohnLewisVotingRightsAct makes it way to the floor today, expect a lot of disinformation and misunderstandings about what this critical democracy-saving legislation does. This thread will set the record straight. /1
2/ (1) Despite the record number of new laws this year making it harder to vote, and the persistent racial turnout gap, some claim that new voting restrictions don’t matter. @smoralesdoyle of @brennancenter buries that argument here:
3/ Here is more evidence of how much new voting restrictions can impact voters and elections: brennancenter.org/our-work/resea…
Read 16 tweets
Jan 12
Breaking news! Ohio Supreme Court invalidated the state's gerrymandered legislative maps under a new state constitutional provision banning partisan gerrymandering. supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0…
Ohio is one of a handful of states that passed reforms last decade minimizing the risk of redistricting abuse. For a full rundown, see brennancenter.org/our-work/resea…
But there are no similar safeguards in most states. The only way to put an end to gerrymandering and other redistricting abuses across the country is to pass the #FreedomToVoteAct and the #JohnLewisVRAA, and to do so quickly. brennancenter.org/democracy-cant…
Read 5 tweets
Jan 11
Biden reminds us that in 2006 the Senate vote 98-0 to reauthorize the #VotingRightsAct, incl 16 senators who still serve. We used to have bipartisan consensus in favor of voting rights. Just because congressional Rs don't support it now doesn't mean voting rights are partisan.
On this point, the provisions in the #FreedomToVoteAct are built off of reforms that were put in place by or with the support of Republicans in states across the country.
And those reforms (as well as the #JohnLewisVRAA) enjoy broad bipartisan (and Independent) support among members of the general public.
Read 4 tweets
May 20, 2020
1/ This morning, President Trump threatened to withhold funds from Michigan and Nevada because he doesn’t like that they are allowing citizens to vote by mail during the pandemic. This is so wrong on so many fronts.
2/ First, like most states, MI and NV are rightfully preparing for an expansion of mail ballots this November. This is absolutely necessary to protect public health and to ensure a safe and fair election. (Safe polling places will be needed too!)
3/ There is broad bipartisan support for these options for safe voting—among voters, election officials, leaders and health professionals. (Indeed, the NV secretary of state is an R too.) This should be a no-brainer.
Read 10 tweets
Jun 27, 2019
1/ One of the principal legacies of the Roberts Court will be its systematic undermining of American democracy, greenlighting efforts to rig elections, ignoring gerrymandering, slashing voting rights, and shifting power from the many to the few. #Rucho #SCOTUS
2/ #Rucho is only the latest in a long string of recent #SCOTUS decisions undermining American democracy. Below are some of the biggies:
3/ In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, turning a blind eye to ongoing voting discrimination & preventing Congress from putting in place adequate protections against discrimination. #VRAA
Read 14 tweets

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