Secretary of State Michele Reagan has joined with Republican interests in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to void the state’s legislative redistricting plan. In new filings with the high court, attorneys for Reagan point out the population differences among the 30 legislative districts created in 2011 by the Independent Redistricting Commission. They said this raises constitutional questions because it effectively gives voters in some districts more power than others. But what’s particularly problematic, they said, is that the disparity was done deliberately to achieve a result of improving the chances of Democrats getting elected to the Legislature. “It suggests, if not proves, a built-in bias in the IRC’s redistricting process,” her attorneys wrote.
In filing her own brief, Reagan has aligned herself with fellow Republicans who want the Supreme Court to rule the commission acted unconstitutionally. And her arguments mirror those advanced by Mark Hearne who is representing Republicans who sued the commission over the maps.
In his own filing, Hearne conceded to the justices there is nothing unconstitutional about drawing district lines to benefit one party or the other. But he said districts have to be of equal population.
“The problem is that the commission unequally apportioned Arizona voters with the intent of creating an advantage for the Democrat party,” he wrote. And Hearne said the results of the 2012 and 2014 elections “demonstrate the intention to confer a benefit upon the Democrat party was realized.”
Full Article: Arizona secretary of state wants redistricting plan voided.