FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Monday, June 22, 2015

Arizona Redistricting Case Makes It To Supreme Court's Final "Significant Seven"

Arizona's important independent redistricting case is now one of the final "Significant Seven" opinions left for the U.S. Supreme Court to hand down in this 2014-15 season.

The nine Justices finish deciding cases from the October term by the end of June (or, occasionally, the beginning of July), and some of the most difficult and significant cases end up being the last ones left.  This year, the Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission still remains, along with the ACA ("Obamacare") subsidies, same sex marriage, and four other cases.

Former Supreme Court clerks have noted that opinions are often getting proofread, circulated, changed, etc. on difficult cases until shortly before being announced.  ar

The Supreme Court does not announce in advance which opinions they are releasing on any given day, and word never seems to leak out.  And, because they do not allow live broadcasts from their court, this leaves interested parties anxiously watching sites like SCOTUSblog and news sources for word.

The Justice who authors the majority opinion has the opportunity to make a statement and/or read from the opinion. (Dissenting justices can then do likewise.) The Court did announce that they are adding another day of releasing opinions, this coming Thursday. (Next Monday will be a regularly-scheduled opportunity to hand down rulings.)

The Arizona redistricting case was one of the final argued.  Former U.S. Solicitors General Paul Clement and Seth Waxman presented the case to the Supreme Court for the Arizona Legislature and Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, respectively.

As noted on Arizona's Politics, the latter represented the AIRC pro bono, saving Arizona taxpayers a few hundred thousand dollars.  Even so, this one case alone has cost more than $850,000, and the state has footed more than $3.65M in outside legal bills for the attacks on the AIRC and the redistricting maps that it approved.


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