An Indian-American attorney is being hailed as a “national hero” and “true patriot” in the US after he successfully argued a case before the US Supreme Court against a legal theory being promoted by conservatives, especially those who supported former US President Donald Trump. The US-born attorney, named Neal Katyal, was representing the watchdog group ‘Common Cause’ and won the judgment 6-3, with support from three liberal and three conservative judges.
Such was the significance of the case that one legal expert labeled it as the most important constitutional case in US history, while it helped the attorney rarely earn himself praise from former Democratic president Barack Obama.
What was the legal case?
The case, Moore v. Harper, was about overhauling the US election system altogether while giving state legislature primacy over courts to set election rules.
Had conservatives won the case, state legislatures would have become immune to interventions by courts on state election rules. However, the theory was rebuffed by six Supreme Court judges, maintaining that the power of state legislature was restrained by federal and state courts.
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America’s top legal and constitutional experts heaved a sigh of relief as the judgment came, with Obama himself tweeting on the issue. “Today, the Supreme Court rejected the fringe independent state legislature theory that threatened to upend our democracy and destroyed our system of checks and balances. This ruling rejects the far-right theory that threatens to undermine our democracy, and makes it clear that courts can continue defending voters’ rights—in North Carolina and in every state,” Obama wrote in his tweet.
‘Single most important constitutional case for American democracy’
The case was hailed as the “Single most important constitutional case for American democracy” by Judge Luttig, a distinguished jurist who was also associated with the fight. He also lauded Katyal for being “masterful” while arguing the case before the court. He said Katyal made “the single best oral argument I have ever heard made before the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Who is Neal Katyal?
Neal Katy is the son of Indian immigrants, and his mother is a paediatrician while his father is an engineer. He attended Dartmouth College and pursued his law degree at Yale, where he had the opportunity to learn from Akhil Amar, a renowned Indian-origin constitutional scholar in the United States.
Presently, Katyal holds a position as a partner at the prestigious law firm Hogan Lovells. Additionally, he serves as a professor of National Security Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he holds the distinction of being one of the youngest professors to have achieved tenure and a chaired professorship in the university’s history.