The “Independent” State Legislature in Republican Theory

I have taken the unorthodox step (for me, anyway) of posting an early draft of an essay that I am working on. My take on the independent state legislature theory, forthcoming in a special symposium issue of the Texas A&M Law Review celebrating Professor Richard Epstein, available here.

In this essay, I try to situate the notion of an “independent” legislature in the context of republican principles that prioritize majority rule. Specifically, I explore the question of who is the “state” on behalf of which the legislature deploys power when it chooses electors. I conclude that the “state” is its citizens, whose preferences are conveyed to the state legislature through the state’s electorate and in the state constitution. Thus, the state legislature cannot disregard the preferences of the people at the juncture in which they are exercising oversight and accountability at the core of our system of republicanism: during the election of federal officials.

Thanks for reading, and I welcome any feedback!

Share this: