Supreme Court doubts jurisdiction over high-profile NC election case

The Supreme Court called for additional briefing on Thursday in a high-profile case about state legislatures’ control of election laws.

A decision on the case was expected by the end of June. But it’s possible the court could throw out the case, given that the North Carolina Supreme Court recently announced in a rare move that it would review the dispute, after the balance of the state’s top court shifted from a majority of Democrats to a majority of Republicans.

The high court has not commented on how it will proceed with the case, but on Thursday the justices asked the parties to provide additional briefings by March 20 on the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over the matter in light of the state court’s review.

In December, the high court heard from GOP lawmakers in North Carolina who argued that state legislatures were making decisions about federal elections.

Critics said the “state law theory” would give politicians unchecked power.

The case arose out of a dispute between the North Carolina Legislature and state courts over who has the final say in drawing congressional district maps. The state Supreme Court struck down the legislature’s map and imposed its own, which lawmakers say violates rules laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

The justices seemed skeptical of the GOP lawmakers’ stance during oral arguments, worried it would undermine checks and balances.

– Stephen Dinan contributed to this report.

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