REDISTRICTING

Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Congressional Maps

The Court ruled today that independent redistricting commissions are constitutional.

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Kimberly Railey
June 29, 2015, 7:31 a.m.

"The U.S. Supreme Court avoided a congressional shake-up Monday morning, upholding the constitutionality of independent redistricting commissions rather than striking down the congressional maps in Arizona and possibly several other states. The court ruled 5-4 in favor of Arizona's redistricting commission, rejecting an argument by the state's Republican legislators that the Constitution only gives the authority to draw legislative and congressional lines to state legislatures. The Constitution's Election Clause says that state legislatures have authority to regulate elections. But the Court's opinion, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ruled that that applies as much to voters -- who created the state's commission via a successful ballot measure -- as it does to the state's elected lawmakers."

The decision prevents one swing district, currently held by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D), from being turned into safe Republican territory. If the Supreme Court struck down independent redistricting commissions, legislators could have also tried to make Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick's (D) seat more Republican-leaning instead of Sinema's, now that Kirkpatrick is running for the Senate. (Hotline reporting)

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