June 27, 2023


Moore v. Harper vindicates Rehnquist's opinion in Bush v. Gore  (DEREK MULLER, 6/27/23, Election Law Blog)

[T]he Court looked to Bush v. Gore (2000):

Chief Justice Rehnquist, joined in a concurring opinion by JUSTICE THOMAS and Justice Scalia, acknowledged the usual deference we afford state court interpretations of state law, but noted "areas in which the Constitution requires this Court to undertake an independent, if still deferential, analysis of state law." Id., at 114. He declined to give effect to interpretations of Florida election laws by the Florida Supreme Court that "impermissibly distorted them beyond what a fair reading required." Id., at 115. Justice Souter, for his part, considered whether a state court interpretation "transcends the limits of reasonable statutory interpretation to the point of supplanting the statute enacted by the 'legislature' within the meaning of Article II." Id., at 133 (Souter, J., joined by Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., dissenting).

In other words, the Court-and no justice dissented from this view-seems entirely amenable to the concept promulgated by the Chief Justice, that at some point state courts go "too far" in interpreting state law.

Posted by at June 27, 2023 7:18 PM


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