“This conservative group helped push a disputed election theory”

Hansi Lo Wang for NPR:

A controversial legal theory that could radically reshape presidential and congressional elections has had a vocal supporter in filings to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Since 2020, a conservative group advocating for more restrictive voting laws has filed multiple friend-of-the-court briefs to try to influence the justices, including with the claim that the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the power to determine how federal elections are run without limits from state constitutions or state courts.

The group calls itself the Honest Elections Project, which since 2020, according to corporate records filed in Virginia, has been a registered business alias for The 85 Fund. That organization has federal tax-exempt status, millions of dollars in donations and spending that are hard to trace, and ties to Leonard Leo — the Federalist Society’s co-chairman and former executive vice president who helped build the Supreme Court’s majority of conservative justices.

Three of those justices have signaled they are likely to side with Republican state lawmakers in an upcoming North Carolina redistricting case that could result in a Supreme Court endorsement of what’s known as the independent state legislature theory. The lawmakers would need the support of at least two other justices on the court, where conservatives enjoy a 6-3 supermajority.

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