Wednesday, December 3, 2014

READ: U.S. Constitution REQUIRES Lawmakers Handle Redistricting, Says Arizona Legislature In Its Supreme Court Brief

The Arizona Legislature filed its brief with the U.S. Supreme Court today (Tuesday), explaining that the U.S. Constitution requires the lawmakers to handle Congressional redistricting and forbidding Arizona voters from changing that process.

The 59-page brief (posted below) was prepared by former Solicitor General Paul Clement, and makes the case that because the Constitution says that "the Legislature" sets the laws regarding its Congressional elections, the Arizona Constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2000 (Proposition 106) to set up the Independent Redistricting Commission was unconstitutional.

Four of the five AIRC members are appointed by legislative leaders (from a pool vetted by a non-partisan committee), they choose a fifth member, and the Commission then sets the district boundaries for both Congressional and state legislative districts.  The Legislature has the ability to make recommendations, but the Commission is not required to accept them.

The Legislature's legal challenge came after the contentious redistricting following the 2010 census, and complains that the *new* process removes them "completely" from its Constitutional "right". ("The Legislature has been completely deprived of that power....")

The AIRC now has until January 16 to file its brief.

(A second challenge to the redistricting boundaries is also sitting with the Supreme Court. The Justices have not yet decided whether or not they will accept the appeal in Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.)

(Tempe election law attorney Paul Weich contributed this article.)

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1 comment:

Phoenix Justice said...

Justice Scalia has already stated that the "citizens" are the ultimate legislature, so I think the Arizona Legislature is going to lose this one. Which would be a very good thing.