Jefferson City, Mo. — On Wednesday, December 7, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft will attend the oral argument in Moore v. Harper at the United States Supreme Court.
Ashcroft was the first elected official to file an amicus brief, weighing in on the redistricting case that originated from North Carolina, having major implications on future elections in Missouri and nationwide.
Moore v. Harper will define who has the final say, courts or legislatures, in determining congressional district lines. In an amicus brief filed with the court in September, Ashcroft stated that he supports neither party in the case.
Rather, he believes the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants redistricting authority to the people, not the federal government. In Missouri, Ashcroft contends the people have assigned that redistricting authority to the General Assembly.
“This allocation of power is unsurprising,” Ashcroft said. “When the states ratified the U.S. Constitution, the people of each state consented to the transfer of limited power to the federal government, ceding only those powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution.”
Ashcroft continued, “Put simply, the U.S. Constitution does not delineate the powers of the states, and thus they are free to exercise all powers that the Constitution does not withhold from them. In Missouri, the state constitution states that congressional district lines are to be drawn by the state legislature; therefore, we need to keep the federal government out of Missouri elections.”
Ashcroft will be returning to Jefferson City on Wednesday afternoon, but will be available for comments while in Washington, D.C., or by phone.