The Conservative Stalwart Challenging the Far-Right Legal Theory That Could Subvert American Democracy


Publish Date:
October 19, 2022
The New Yorker
Related Person(s):


In the waning days of the Trump Administration, Trump allies tried to bring several legal challenges based on the independent-state-legislature theory to the Supreme Court. The Court rejected their arguments, but three conservative justices—Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas—expressed interest in hearing more about the theory in the future. Justice Kavanaugh, too, has expressed some interest. Their stance added credibility to what was largely regarded by election-law experts as a dangerously radical idea. As Nathaniel Persily, an election-law expert at Stanford, told me in 2021, “It’s giving intellectual respectability to an otherwise insane, anti-democratic argument.”

Read More