Paul Begala, a onetime political advisor to Bill Clinton, is warning CNN’s audience that it should be “panic-stricken” over the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Harper v. Moore case in a future session.
Appearing on Kate Bolduan’s program on Thursday, Begala did little to allay the multiplying fears of CNN’s rather unsettled viewership, which is already understandably on edge over the high court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, to say nothing of other recent rulings on gun rights and the curtailment of executive overreach. It’s been a slew of decisions that have rolled back a number of dodgy laws and left-wing initiatives that have been, arguably, unconstitutional from the start.
The Harper case is a voting rights matter that challenges a decision handed down by the North Carolina Supreme Court that invalidates election maps drawn up by the state’s Republican legislature. The challengers argue that they have the right of establishing the “times, places, and manner of holding elections” according to the US Constitution, in what is known as the “independent state legislature theory.”
“Just today, the court agreed to hear arguments next term in a case that could upend how federal elections are conducted in almost every way,” Bolduan noted breathlessly in the segment. “In taking this case, the justices could give almost unchecked power to state legislatures and partisan lawmakers to set the rules of how elections are conducted, potentially unchecked by state courts.”
Her argument seems strained, to say the least, considering that CNN was probably less than alarmed by state legislatures having the power to set the rules of how elections were conducted back in 2020—when mail-in ballots became a thing.
“And this gets to the legal doctrine that Trump and his allies tried to push to the extreme extent after the 2020 election,” Bolduan added, a reference to Trump’s legal advisor John Eastman—one of many political opponents recently targeted by Democrats through FBI surrogates—who argued that state legislatures could decertify the 2020 election results.
“I mean, Paul, from your perspective, this is coming next term. How worried should people be?” she asked.
“Oh, I think they ought to be panic-stricken,” Begala replied. “I am a faithful, practicing Catholic as many members of the court are. Catholics have this doctrine of papal infallibility in special cases. The court is looking to install politician infallibility, on their elections, the state legislature’s actions would not be reviewed by their own state’s courts? That’s dictatorship! That’s madness!”
“Courts have reviewed state actions since the founding of the country,” he added, “and now, all of a sudden, next year, they’re going to take it up next year, but you hide and wait—the Republicans seem to believe that democracy doesn’t work for them, so they’re trying to end it any way that they can, the Supreme Court is at the tip of that spear.”
If the Republicans believe that democracy doesn’t work for them, it’s only natural, given that Democrats decided that a long time ago and have acted accordingly ever since.
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