Arizona's Redistricting Appeal Before US Supreme Court Could Set National Precedent

By Steve Shadley
Published: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 11:46am
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 1:47pm
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Legislative bodies across the nation will be watching an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of Arizona’s method of redrawing congressional districts. 

An attorney who specializes in the issue said Arizona will set a national precedent.

Mary O’Grady is a lawyer whosi working on behalf of Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission. That’s the five-member citizen panel that redesigns the maps for the state’s congressional districts based on census data. 

Voters approved the system in the year 2000. O’Grady believes Arizona’s commission meets constitutional muster.

“This is reform in which Arizona was one of the national leaders but other states are also adopting this reform to deal with the problem in gerrymandering and lack of competitiveness in the districts and so to reform that process they’re establishing these independent commissions,” O'Grady said.

But attorneys representing the Republican majority in the state legislature are challenging whether independent panels can legally redesign districts. 

They say the U.S. Constitution indicates elected bodies solely have that responsibility. 

The Supreme Court is set to review Arizona’s case starting March 2. 


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