PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich co-led an amicus brief filed today in the Supreme Court of the United States to protect the separation of powers in congressional map redistricting. In Moore v. Harper, a North Carolina state court took it upon itself to institute a congressional map for the 2022 congressional election, violating the U.S. Constitution’s Elections Clause, which grants that authority solely to each state’s legislature.
"The separation of powers is fundamental to the proper functioning of state government to ensure political accountability and preserve liberty," said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "If state courts perform legislative tasks, it will set a dangerous precedent of expanded judicial authority not granted in the Constitution."
While courts play an important role in ensuring legislatures comply with state constitutions, they overstep their bounds when they use vague state constitutional provisions to impose completely new requirements that neither the legislature nor the people adopted.
Here, the North Carolina Supreme Court joined the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in reading a vague requirement that elections shall be “free” to impose a specific political gerrymandering requirement and, ultimately, its own court-drawn map instead of the map adopted by the people’s representatives. Such action threatens liberty and separation of powers.
General Brnovich is joined by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
Read the amicus here.