Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Redistricting Commission

It’s not proven yet that the change in redistricting methods has had the desired effect of making California’s congressional, Assembly and state Senate elections more competitive. The amount of legislative involvement with those commissions varies by state.


What Maryland and other states have achieved through increasingly sophisticated gerrymandering techniques is a decennial reminder of how little dependence members of Congress have on the people and how much entitlement they feel in determining the districts in which they run.

Here’s how redistricting works in those states, as categorized by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Arizona State Legislature challenged the initiative, arguing it violated the Elections Clause of the Constitution which says in part that the “times, places and manner” of holding elections for Senators and Representatives will be “prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof”.

Eleven states have some sort of commission that has a role in the redistricting process. It takes nine votes to approve a map. Eight redistricting commissioners are randomly selected from the remaining pool of candidates.

New York voters in November approved a state constitutional amendment to establish the 10-member commission. Monday, the justices ruled an independent commission – like the one in Arizona – can be used for drawing up voting districts. Under that map, Arizonans elected five Democrats and four Republicans to the USA House in 2012. The redistricting commission certified new electoral district maps in 2011. Those who register with the federal form and do not provide citizenship proof will be able to vote only in federal elections, meaning for president and members of Congress.

The process has sparked a number of lawsuits throughout the years, including two ongoing now to challenge various House of Delegates districts and the 3rd Congressional District.

More than 36,000 people applied to serve on the California commission.

The high court ruled for an Arizona plan, under attack from Republican legislators, that is very similar to Washington’s.

15 years ago, Arizona voters passed an initiative to take power away from the state legislature to draw district lines.

Others doubted that commissions would actually remove partisanship from the once-a-decade process of shaping congressional districts.

The GOP controls the governorship and legislature of 24 states, including Nebraska’s officially nonpartisan legislature. That led to a new appeal which was rejected by a federal appellate court. But unlike the first two, the third version can be amended by lawmakers before they vote on it. Bill O’Neill. The Albuquerque Democrat has introduced legislation to create an independent redistricting commission in New Mexico in each of the last three legislative sessions.

California Republican Party vice chairwoman Harmeet Dhillon also called it “the right decision….” Proponents said it would ensure that election results are not affected by those voting illegally. The reason is gerrymandering, by which politicians contrive to select their voters rather than letting voters select their representatives.


“It’s quite a big victory for those who support using the tools of self-democracy to deal with legislative self-interest”, Hasen said.

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld voter-created independent redistricting commissions preserving such groups in Arizona and California