- AOC says the US is "witnessing a judicial coup in process" and is in a "constitutional crisis."
- The Supreme Court is taking up a case that could radically reshape election law.
- "The Court is signaling they will come for the Presidential election next," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned that the country is "witnessing a judicial coup in process" and is in the midst of a "Constitutional crisis" after the Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it will take up a case that could upend current US election law.
"If the President and Congress do not restrain the Court now, the Court is signaling they will come for the Presidential election next," the New York Democrat tweeted. "All our leaders – regardless of party – must recognize this Constitutional crisis for what it is."
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 30, 2022
"At this point we should be well beyond partisanship," Ocasio-Cortez added. "Members of Congress have sworn an oath to the Constitution. It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the President."
The Supreme Court announced at the end of its term on Friday that it will hear Moore v. Harper, a case out of North Carolina challenging the state supreme court's ability to strike down the new congressional and legislative maps passed by the state legislature for being unfairly gerrymandered in favor of Republicans.
The petitioner, North Carolina Speaker Tim Moore, is asking the court to weigh in on not just the maps, but to adopt a once-fringe legal theory known as the independent state legislature doctrine which would monumentally reshape election law and make it much harder for courts to strike down voting maps or provide judicial review on election laws.
The theory, which didn't enter the mainstream until 2020, claims that the Elections Clause of the US Constitution only gives state legislatures and no other authorities, like courts or executive officers, jurisdiction over redistricting and election laws.
If the Supreme Court adopts the independent state legislature theory, it has far-reaching implications beyond redistricting, including for the 2024 election.
Former president Donald Trump and his allies who sought to overturn the 2020 election in the courts and in Congress cited the theory in their efforts to reverse state election results, unsuccessfully claiming that state election laws shaped by courts or executive orders were invalid.
In cases over the 2020 election and in considering the North Carolina case earlier this year, three members of the high court's conservative wing indicated they were open to accepting the doctrine to varying degrees.
The Supreme Court is also set to hear Merrill vs. Milligan, a case over whether Alabama is required to draw a second majority-Black district under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that advocates worry could further erode the landmark civil rights law.
The high court taking up the North Carolina case comes as the House Select Committee investigating January 6 is holding hearings shedding more light on how Trump and his allies pushed radical legal theories with the aim of overturning the election and keeping Trump in office.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a member of the January 6 Committee, also expressed his concern over the high court taking the case, tweeting: "After the attempted coup, this cannot happen."