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Supreme Court Rejects Fringe Trump-Backed Election Theory – Experts Say ‘Huge Victory for Democracy’ But Only ‘For Now’



The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a fringe, extremist legal theory that would have removed the ability of state courts to review election laws, including congressional maps, and efferctively would have handed state legislatures the ability to decide presidential elections. The “independent state legislature theory” (ISLT) was backed by Donald Trump and some of his top advisors, who promoted what has been called the “fake electors” scheme.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 6-3 majority opinion. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch were in the minority. Justice Samuel Alito would have ruled the case moot.

“Under the theory advanced by North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders, but rejected by the court, state lawmakers throughout the country would have had exclusive authority to structure federal elections, subject only to intervention by Congress,” The Washington Post reports. “The ‘independent state legislature theory’ holds that the U.S. Constitution gives that power to lawmakers even if it results in extreme partisan voting maps for congressional seats and violates voter protections enshrined in state constitutions.”

The Chief Justice in his opinion wrote that the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution “does not carve out an exception to that fundamental principle. When state legislatures prescribe the rules concerning federal elections, they remain subject to the ordinary exercise of state judicial review.”

READ MORE: Jack Smith ‘Likely’ to Indict Trump and the ‘Whole Criminal Gang’ for Conspiring to ‘Overthrow the Government’: Legal Expert

Back in November, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a top proponent of reforming the Supreme Court, warned that the “independent state legislature theory formed the basis of many of the bogus legal challenges to the 2020 election results—including the arguments [Trump attorney John] Eastman was pushing about fake electors.”

On Tuesday, after quickly reviewing the decision in the case, known as Moore v. Harper, some legal experts were rejoicing, at least initially.

“SCOTUS rightly rejected the utterly groundless ‘independent state legislature’ theory that would’ve upended democracy and the rule of law. Only Thomas and Gorsuch went with the theory. Alito would’ve treated the case as moot. It’s [time] to exhale now!” remarked Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, a top constitutional scholar and former Harvard Law School professor of law.

“This is a rout for proponents of the independent state legislature theory,” wrote Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern.

“In my view,” he added, “the decision in Moore is a huge victory for democracy, ensuring that state courts can continue to review election laws enacted by state legislatures under state constitutions, and that federal courts do not have freewheeling power to meddle in state election schemes.”

Meanwhile, legal journalist Cristian Farias warned the ruling means, “State legislatures can’t do whatever they want, and state courts can police them. But … federal judges can decide if state courts went off the rails in policing state legislatures.”

“This means Bush v. Gore could still happen again,” he adds.

READ MORE: On ‘Thousands of Hours’ of Tapes Nixon Never Said Anything ‘As Clearly Illegal’ as Trump in New Audio: Watergate Historian

“So yeah, a win for democracy … for now,” Farias continues. “But the Supreme Court leaves wide open what the standard will be when reviewing a state court ruling that, in its judgment, goes too far.”

“In that sense, Moore v. Harper is a boon to voting rights and election lawyers in coming disputes.”

Election Law Blog, founded by election law expert Rick Hasan, published a reserved interpretation of Tuesday’s ruling, warning that the decision offers “zero concrete guidance on where the boundaries are on state court decision-making.”

“The Court endorsed the view — in exceptionally vague terms — that the Constitution prohibits state courts from ‘transgress[ing’ the ordinary bounds of judicial review when they interpret state constitutions, or it seems, state statutes. The Court makes clear that it is not providing any standard at all — even an attempt at a standard — as to what this means concretely.”

“It’s critical that the rules for elections are clear and specified in advance, including the rules that follow from judicial doctrine. The Court’s decision eliminates the most extreme versions of the ISLT, but we are going to see constant litigation around this issue in the 2024 elections until a more clear sense of the boundaries on state court decision-making.”




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Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him



The Fox News host who targeted a juror serving on Donald Trump’s criminal New York trial is now suggesting the ex-president should violate his gag order and “force” the court to throw him in jail, by quoting the Fox News host.

Jesse Watters came under fire earlier this week for profiling juror number two, sharing possibly identifying information published by a myriad of reporters but then using that information to pass judgment on her ability to serve.

“I’m not so sure about juror number two,” Watters concluded on Fox News.

Jurors, at the judge’s direction, were to remain anonymous, for their protection and the protection of the trial.

The judge excused her, after she said she felt she was not able to be impartial because friends and family were calling her asking if she had been chosen to serve on the Trump trial, after the media blitz.

New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan admonished the press for reporting the information, but some news outlets appeared to ignore his warning.

Watters on Wednesday “did a segment with a jury consultant, revealing details about people who had been seated on the jury and questioning whether some were ‘stealth liberals’ who would be out to convict Trump,” the Associated Press reported.

READ MORE: Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

Trump later posted Watters’ quote on his Truth Social platform, leading some, including New York prosecutors, to ask the judge to cite him for allegedly breaking his gag order.

Judge Merchan ordered Trump to not mention witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, court staff, or the family members of prosecutors and court staff, CNN has reported.

New York prosecutors told Juge Merchan Trump has violated the gag order at least ten times.

“Prosecutor Christopher Conroy described the ‘most disturbing’ example as a social media message Trump posted on Wednesday evening quoting a Fox News host as saying, ‘They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,'” Politico reports.

That host was Jesse Watters.

RELATED: ‘Afraid and Intimidated’: Trump Trial Juror Targeted by Fox News Dismissed

Friday afternoon, Watters appeared to egg Trump on, urging the ex-president to violate the gag order.

“I would make them put me in jail,” Watters said on Fox News. “I would have a tweet about something perhaps I said on ‘The Five’ or ‘Jesse Watters Primetime,’ and I would force them to throw me in jail.”

Watch Watters’ remark below or at this link.


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Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run



U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says some of his fellow House Republicans would “take a bribe” to throw the razor-thin GOP majority to the Democrats if a far-right faction calls up a motion to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, allowing Democrats to hand the gavel to the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries. he warned if that happens, Democrats would immediately declare Trump ineligible to be President, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and pass numerous laws like the American Rescue Plan.

“I do believe in a one seat majority there could be one or two or three of my colleagues who would take a bribe in one form or another in order to deprive the Republicans of a majority at all,” Gaetz said Friday on his podcast (video below.)

He added, “the risk that one or two of my corrupt Republican colleagues might take a bribe, take a walk, feign an ailment and flip this thing to the Democrats is a risk that is too high for me at this time.”

Gaetz’s fellow far-right Florida Republican member of Congress, Anna Paulina Luna, told listeners, “I heard that when, if and when the motion vacate is introduced, that there will be immediate resignations of a couple of more moderate members of Congress. And in the event that that happens, that ultimately means it does go to a Democrat speaker.”

RELATED: Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last month filed a “motion to vacate,” which she can use at any time to force a vote to oust the GOP Speaker, Mike Johnson. U.S. Rep. Tim Massie (R-KY) and just today, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has signed on as co-sponsors.

Congressman Gaetz told listeners if Democrats do take the House through a force vote to remove Johnson, Democrats would “be declaring Donald Trump an insurrectionist and setting up a barrier to him being able to become the president United States.”

“That’ll be their leadoff hitter, and then the chaser to that shot will be a massive spending package that looks a lot more like the American Rescue Plan. They will blow past every concept of every cap ever imagined. You’ll be looking at Universal Basic Income, you could be looking at packing the Supreme Court.”

Watch a short clip of Gaetz’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

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Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow



Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries vowed Friday the majority of Democrats will support Republicans’ Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Gaza foreign aid legislation as Republican Speaker Mike Johnson lost support of another member of his conference to a faction determined to oust him.

“Democrats will provide a majority of our majority as it relates to funding Israel, humanitarian assistance, Ukraine, and our allies in the Indo Pacific,” Minority Leader Jeffries said. “It remains to be seen what Republicans will do in terms of meeting the national security needs of the American people, but it was important for House Democrats to ensure that the national security bills are going to be considered.”

Despite Republicans having a one-vote majority, more Democrats on Friday voted to move the critical and long-awaited foreign aid bills forward than did Republicans.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

The 316-94 vote included 165 Democrats and 151 Republicans voting yes, and 55 Republicans and 39 Democrats voting no.

Axios’ Juliegrace Brufke posted the list of Republicans voting against their party’s legislation.

Calling it a “rare” moment in modern congressional history to have to rely on opposition party votes to pass legislation, BBC News reports Speaker Johnson’s “hold on power is tenuous, and the legislators who oppose him – and his bid to provide aid to Ukraine – occupy some key positions within the House’s power structure.”

Amid the procedural vote to move the foreign aid funding bills forward, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican of Arizona, announced he is joining Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Congressman Tim Massie (R-KY) in formally announcing their will vote to oust Speaker Johnson.

Gosar, like Greene, is reportedly a Christian nationalist. In 2022 CNN reported his “lengthy ties to White nationalists, [a] pro-Nazi blogger and far-right fringe received little pushback for years.”

RELATED: ‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

“We’ve been very honest in our assessment of the situation from the beginning,” Jeffries on Friday also declared. “At the appropriate time as House Democrats, we will have a conversation about how to deal with any hypothetical motion to vacate.”

“Moscow Marjorie Taylor Greene, Massie, and Gosar are quite a group. But central to our conversation is to make sure that the national security legislation in totality is passed by the House of Representatives.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.


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