January 26, 2015

Whether an independent redistricting commission created by Arizona voters through the initiative process is constitutional.

To address the problem of partisan gerrymandering, Arizona voters passed an initiative assigning the redistricting process to an independent commission rather than the state legislature.  The state legislature then sued on the theory that the independent commission violates the Elections Clause, which provides that the legislature of each state shall have the authority to set the time, place, and manner of elections. The ACLU filed an amicus brief arguing that partisan gerrymandering is both a severe and growing problem, and that the Elections Clause should be read to promote democratic ideals rather than to frustrate them.

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