Judicial elections in five states will determine access to abortion, voting rights and gerrymandering.
Hotly contested supreme court elections in Illinois, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Ohio are likely to determine the future of abortion rights, voting rights and gerrymandered district maps in those states. In each court, one political party or ideological bloc holds a one-vote majority on the most pressing issues, including abortion and redistricting. Any change in their makeup in the midterms could lead to the protection or elimination of abortion rights in these states. – HuffPo
Where are these races? Who are the candidates? How can you vote to protect the freedom of abortion access and right to vote?
Vote in state judicial races to protect your freedoms
Make it easier for voters to see what is at stake
Judicial majorities are more important than ever since the Supreme Court began transferring constitutional issues from federal courts to state courts. The court’s conservative supermajority ended federal abortion protections when it overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. By revoking the recognition of a federal right to an abortion, the issue of abortion rights would be “returned to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote. Instead of federal courts, “state statutes and state constitutions can provide standards and guidance for state courts to apply” to resolve partisan gerrymandering complaints, according to Chief Justice John Roberts.
The decisions made state courts the final arbiters of the constitutionality of abortion bans and legislative redistricting. They have already stepped into that role by overseeing divisive redistricting fights and taking on cases examining the role of their state constitutions in granting abortion rights. – HuffPo
Republican State Courts take away freedoms
North Carolina currently allows abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, but if Republicans win a legislative supermajority they could pass a harsher ban over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto and a GOP-controlled court could uphold it.
If Republicans flip the North Carolina court, they could rule in favor of gerrymandered maps that give a heavy advantage to their own party. The current Democratic-majority court has limited prison sentences for minors, made it harder to purge jury pools of Black people, and freed some death row prisoners from a law that limited their ability to challenge their convictions due to racial bias. The court prevented Republicans from seizing control of running elections in the state and imposing an onerous voter identification requirement.
The court’s decisions on voting rights and partisan gerrymandering could all become moot if the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to affirm the independent state legislature theory that North Carolina Republicans are asking them to adopt in the case of Moore v. Harper. If the high court fully sides with the state GOP, the courts would no longer be able to rule on the constitutionality of legislative district maps or state election laws. – HuffPo
Maps for storytelling
This map visually presents eleven key judicial races in five states along with links to the campaign websites for the Democratic candidates. It makes it easier to quickly understand the current balance of power in the state courts and the importance of voting to prevent Republican control that could ban abortions.
Use humor to make your point
Humor spans politics. Use it to get your message to more people. “Do you go down?” emphasizes in fun way, the importance of going “all the way down” in a ballot to vote for Secretary of State and judicial races.
TakeAway: Vote in judicial races to protect the freedom of access to abortion and the right to vote.
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Reposted from Democracy Labs with permission.
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