The Volokh Conspiracy

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Supreme Court

Has Moore v. Harper Become Moot?

The Supreme Court wants further briefing on whether it retains jurisdiction


Last week, the North Carolina Supreme Court overturned its prior decision redrawing the state's congressional districts, thereby reversing the decision under review by the U.S. Supreme Court in Moore v. Harper. As Derek Muller noted over at the Election Law Blog, this could mean that Moore v. Harper is moot.

Yesterday, the Court asked the parties for further briefing in light of these developments. The order reads:

The parties and the Solicitor General are invited to file supplemental letter briefs addressing the following question: What is the effect on this Court's jurisdiction of the April 28, 2023 order of the North Carolina Supreme Court? The briefs, not to exceed 10 pages, are to be filed simultaneously with the Clerk and served upon opposing counsel on or before 2 p.m., Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Muller also notes another jurisdicitonal wrinkle in this case (also raised by Will Baude): How do North Carolina courts retain jurisdiction over a case that is already subject to Supreme Court review?

Either way, the latest developments in North Carolina would give the justices an excuse to remove another case from the docket. Whatever the legal merits of such a move, it would make time for the justices to catch up on releasing opinions from argued cases.