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August 17, 2023

Independent State Legislature

Independent State Legislature Theory,
May 31, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to decide the monumental voting rights case Moore v. Harper. The case concerns a legal doctrine known as the independent state legislature, which asserts that state legislatures have exclusive power--not subject to federal or state courts--to govern all aspects of elections, electors, and voting registration and procedures. The theory is rooted in the Elections and Electors Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. It first appeared in legal arguments during the 2000 Presidential Election, when votes in Florida were in dispute. In the current case, it's about Congressional redistricting following the 2020 Census.

Featured: Patricia Lee, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Public Education; Nick Stephanopolous, Harvard Law School; John Yoo, University of California Berkeley Law Professor; David Melton, Reform for Illinois Board of Directors

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CLE Credits

Continuing legal education (CLE) credits are available to Illinois lawyers for 30 days from program date. Information is contained in the program registration, or on-demand description. All CLE credits are managed by Reform for Illinois.

Parliamentary-Style Debate

Each program follows the same format, as follows:

Program Format (60 minutes)

  • Welcome Remarks (2 minutes)
  • Moderator presents resolution (topic)
  • Pro (yes) argument opening statement (12 minutes)
  • Con (no) argument opening statement (12 minutes)
  • Pro argument rebuttal (2 minutes)
  • Con argument rebuttal (2 minutes)
  • Moderated discussion (20 minutes)
  • Audience Q&A (10 minutes)