Democracy

COUNTERING GERRYMANDERED COURTS

Jed Handelsman Shugerman*

The key insight in Professor Miriam Seifter’s outstanding article Countermajoritarian Legislatures is that state legislatures are usually antidemocratic due to partisan gerrymandering, whereas state governors and judiciaries are insulated from gerrymandering by statewide elections (or selection), and thus they should have a more prominent role in framing election law and in enforcing the separation of powers.

This Piece offers...

State and federal courts routinely cast state legislatures in the role of democratic hero. Recent events illustrate: Some states have embraced the nondelegation doctrine, striking down governors’ pandemic responses based on the theory that those weighty choices belong to the legislature. During the 2020 election, federal judges invoked an “independent state legislature” doctrine to question voting rights measures from state execu­tive actors...