While the Jan. 6 committee hearings are riveting much of the nation as they narrow in Donald Trump as the leader of the attempted violent overthrow of the government, a huckster industry has emerged in the states promoting the basis of Trump’s insurrection, the Big Lie. It’s not just the civically illiterate being taken in, though they—and their dollars—are the marks. The more cynical recruits are the ones who see power and revenge and the potential to take over this country forever. That group includes at least four sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices.

The Big Lie hucksters include four key proponents who are crisscrossing the nation to spread disinformation about the 2020 election and anger and distrust in the whole apparatus of elections. Seth Keshel, David Clements, Douglas Frank, and the originator Mike Lindell, are the key fraud influencers identified in an NPR investigation. They’ve held hundreds of community events all over the country spreading the new MAGA gospel of fraud. That’s driving local elections, said Chris Krebs, a former Department of Homeland Security official who was in charge of election security in 2020 for the federal government. “It’s this constellation of election conspiracy theorists. […] You can see the complexion of local politics shifting as a result. They have decentralized post-January 6th and are really trying to effect change at the lowest possible level.”

As Daily Kos’ Laura Clawson noted weeks ago, they’ve recruited at least 357 Republican lawmakers in key battleground states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas. President Joe Biden’s victory in six of those states was essential to his victory. With the help of the Supreme Court, if enough of those Republicans get control in enough of these states, they can steal the White House under the debunked and ridiculed legal theory that John Eastman used to justify the 2020 attempted coup.

Last week the Supreme Court announced they would hear a challenge from North Carolina based on that “independent state legislature” theory which posits that state legislatures have the ultimate authority at the state level for governing federal elections in their states.

As Daily Kos’ Stephen Beard writes, “Indeed, four Republican-appointed justices—Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh—have already indicated their support for the North Carolina GOP’s position in earlier rulings, while Roberts dissented in the 2015 Arizona case. Only Amy Coney Barrett has yet to reveal her views.” Her tenure on the court thus far shows little in the way of moderation from Barrett, so this threat is exceedingly real.

This would allow states to gerrymander districts with no constraints, and depending on how broad the ruling, harsher voting restrictions. It could strip ballot initiatives and governors of their power in shaping and overseeing federal elections rules. State-sponsored election subversion wouldn’t be impossible. There are some federal laws that could constrain state legislators from appointing fake electors, Eastman’s gambit, but again depending on how broadly the Court could rule, those federal laws could be undermined.

“Under the theory, state constitutions could no longer serve as a check on a legislature that seeks to replace the voters’ voice with their own in selecting presidential electors,” Helen White, counsel at the nonpartisan group Protect Democracy, told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent. The checks of federal law and the constitution are “robust after the election,” White said. “But before the election, because this has not been done in modern history, we would be in relatively uncharted and radically undemocratic territory.”

“One nightmare scenario is that a Republican state legislature, potentially with a Trumpist governor, passes a law saying the state legislature itself is the final canvassing board for the state,” Matthew Seligman, an election law scholar, told Sargent. “Under the theory, state courts and state constitutions would place no constraints on such a radically anti-democratic partisan putsch,” Seligman continued.

Never mind that the Court rejected this radical theory in 2015. Precedent means nothing anymore, and the Trump-packed Court has no compunction going to the extremes in partisanship, whether it before for Trump or whatever successor might come out on top in the MAGA wars.