Elections

Supreme Court Sides With Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission

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JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The United States Supreme Court has sided with Arizona’s independent board for drawing legislative districts and against the Republicans who challenged the commission’s legitimacy.

Ironically, the Republican plaintiffs essentially argued that smaller districts have too much power.

A unanimous Supreme Court says an Arizona commission did not violate the principle of one-person, one-vote when it redrew the state’s legislative districts in a way that created some with more residents than others.

The justices on Wednesday rejected a challenge from a group of Republican voters who claimed the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission illegally packed GOP voters into some districts while leaving other Democratic-leaning districts with smaller populations.

Not coincidentally, the smaller districts are home to large numbers of Hispanic voters.

Why is this ironic? Because the shoe is on the other foot. In most cases, commissions controlled by the local GOP create districts drawn along lines of race and class that ultimately benefit Republicans. Republicans are accustomed to disenfranchising poor and minority voters by artificially reducing the amount of influence their district holds.

In this particular case, the average difference in population between the new districts created by the independent commission is only 2.2 percent according to the Associated Press. The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit over spilled milk because they’re used to getting their way.

Gerrymandering is on a bit of a losing streak having lost high-profile cases in Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona.

  • muselet

    California has a redistricting commission, too, and while no lawsuits were filed—at least none that I remember—the sound of Republican pearls being clutched was deafening, even though there were several more competitive districts created.

    Whiners, the lot of ’em.

    –alopecia

  • From the very beginning there has been some conflict over this Redistricting Committee. The state GOP was just fine with the districts the way there were and if they had to be modified they wanted to control the commission. However, back in 2000 the state populace passed Prop 106 that would take it out of the hands of the Legislature and give the responsibility to a bipartisan committee. And it’s been a shitstorm since. The AZ Legislature has done literally everything in their power to stop the Committee from producing any result whatsoever. Yet another reason to hate this stupid state.

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    Let’s hope this trend continues.
    Personally, I’m hoping for reinstatement of the voters rights act and publically funded national voter ID’s.

  • Badgerite

    Positively notorious!