Robinson Bradshaw Lawyers in Major Supreme Court Case



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Oct. 21, 2022

Robinson Bradshaw, together with co-counsel Jenner & Block and an extraordinary team of lawyers that includes Neal Katyal and Michael Luttig, argued this week that the U.S. Supreme Court should affirm the North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in a case about partisan gerrymandering of the state’s congressional districts. Robinson Bradshaw represents the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, which filed its merits brief on Oct. 19 in Moore v. Harper.

This case is one of the highest profile matters in the Supreme Court’s current term, presenting a fundamental question about the role of state courts in federal elections. Robinson Bradshaw has been involved in the case from its beginnings a year ago, with the filing of a complaint in Wake County Superior Court, three trips to the North Carolina Supreme Court and now an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Earlier this year, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that the North Carolina Constitution guarantees the fundamental right to vote, and that drawing electoral districts that dilute or diminish an individual’s vote based on their political party violates that constitutional guarantee. In the U.S. Supreme Court, that ruling is now being challenged under the “Independent State Legislature” theory. According to this theory, the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the exclusive authority to regulate federal elections for Congress.

The NCLCV brief argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should reject that theory, affirm the North Carolina Supreme Court, and hold that judicial review by state courts to enforce state constitutional guarantees is supported by constitutional text, structure, history and precedent.

Robinson Bradshaw attorneys John R. Wester, Adam K. Doerr, Stephen D. Feldman and Erik R. Zimmerman represent NCLCV. The brief is available in full here, and the case has been covered in both state and national media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and New Yorker.

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