This blockbuster Supreme Court term may soon become a little less polarized.
According to a recent article from the New York Times, the Court may soon dismiss two of the term’s most widely publicized cases. Arizona v. Mayorkas and Moore v. Harper have both been the source of heated, bipartisan attention. Both cases, however, are based on factual circumstances which have changed substantially since the Court granted certiorari.
The question before the court in Arizona v. Mayorkas deals with the CDC’s Title 42 program– a Covid-era policy initiated under the Trump Administration for expelling noncitizens at the border due to the risks to public health. Title 42 has resulted in over 2.5 million deportations at our Southern border. The Biden Administration decided to terminate the program in April 2022. As the pandemic emergency draws to a close, however, the policy described as “inhumane” by the Left could soon become moot as a legal matter. The practical consequences of termination are still serious, however, as it could potentially usher an unprecedented wave of immigration.
(We must note that, as with many of the cases involving contentious policy issues, the legal issue before the Court was not political but procedural: whether states should have been able to intervene in an appeal before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals where the Biden Administration was no longer defending a federal policy.)
Moore v. Harper deals with the “Independent State Legislature Theory,” an argument that state courts may not interfere with election rules passed by the state legislature because of the wording in the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution. (“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing [sic] Senators.”) Notable Democrats were hoping the Court may avowedly decide against the theory, which they believe would “undermine the free and fair elections that are at the cornerstone of our democracy.” However, as a politically-realigned Supreme Court in North Carolina (which forwarded Moore to SCOTUS) moves to rehear arguments in the case, it seems like Moore will also soon be rendered moot.
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