Today the Supreme Court of the United States released it’s much-awaited ruling in the case Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission – deciding in a 5-4 decision for the Commission, and upholding the right of an independent commission to draw Congressional districts.
Justice Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the majority of the Court.
The specific question before the court was whether a ballot measure passed by Arizona voters in 2000, Proposition 106, which created an independent commission to draw that state’s Congressional district lines, violated Article One, Section Four of the United States Constitution. The beginning of section 4 states, “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”
Arizona legislators sued, asserting that the Constitution places redistricting squarely in the hands of “the Legislature thereof,” not in the hands of any others, including redistricting commissions.
The high court’s ruling today means that the Arizona redistricting commission will be able to continue to function as it has, with no new changes coming to House district lines anticipated for the rest of this decade.
Arizona was not the only state that would have been directly impacted by this SCOTUS decision. In fact it would have become the side-story, as a decade after Arizonans moved Congressional redistricting to an independent commission, California voters followed suit, passing Proposition 20 in 2010.
With today’s ruling, California Redistricting Commission continues to be in control of the decennial drawing of the lines, and a state political community that had been on red alert will be able to stand down.
Jon Fleischman is the Politics Editor of Breitbart California. A longtime participant, observer and chronicler of California politics, Jon is also the publisher at www.flashreport.org. His column appears weekly on this page. You can reach Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org.