An Open Letter to Chief Justice Roberts

Dear Chief Justice John Roberts:

My name is Martin Wulfe. I live in Silver Spring, MD, and I want my 3 grandchildren to grow up in a country where their votes cannot be extinguished by an extremist state legislature with unchecked power over our elections.

On December 7, your court is scheduled to hear the case of Moore v. Harper. We know this case is about a lot more than just gerrymandering; it is about the authority of state legislatures over the running of elections.

You will be hearing arguments defending independent state legislature theory (ISLT). It means that state legislatures can pass election laws without any oversight from their state courts. All reputable constitutional scholars view this as unlawful and a dangerous assault on our democracy.

John Roberts being sworn in by President Obama. (Image by Welcome to All ! ツ from Pixabay)

With respect, I beseech you and your colleagues to consider the entirety of the Constitution, not simply one phrase. Checks and balances are a cornerstone of our free society, and they are mentioned often in our founding documents. They provide each branch at every level of government the means to limit the reach and power of the government itself. With ISLT as the law of the land, state legislatures will no longer have those checks in place, specifically with regard to federal elections. Checks and balances, including court review for constitutionality, do apply to the Congressional power to set election regulations, and it would be a distortion of the Framers’ intent to rule that they do not apply to state legislatures.

Please do not give state legislatures unchecked authority over our elections in Moore v. Harper.



Martin Wulfe
Silver Spring, MD 20905