Judges as friends of the court? That’s the situation in the potentially revolutionary U.S. Supreme Court case of Moore v. Harper. Adam Liptak reported in the New York Times about the Conference of Chief Justices amicus brief in the case that argues against adoption of a rule, which Liptak says would “radically reshape how federal elections are conducted by giving state lawmakers independent authority, not subject to review by state courts, to set election rules in conflict with state constitutions.” Texas’s chief justice is quoted in the article as saying, “It’s the biggest federalism issue in a long time. Maybe ever.”

The Conference “consists of the highest judicial officer of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands” and its purpose is to allow those officers “to meet and discuss matters of importance in improving the administration of justice, rules and methods of procedure, and the organization and operation of state courts and judicial systems, and to make recommendations and bring about improvements on such matters.”

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye is a Conference member. According to Judicial Council spokesperson Cathal Conneely, “the Chief was not present at the CCJ Conference for the decision to file a brief, or for the vote to submit the brief, and had not read the brief—however, as represented in the news article, and as a general principle, she agrees with CCJ’s position.”