Members of Congress are squaring off with the Arizona Legislature, seeking to stop it from shaking up Arizona’s political map — and possibly others across the country — before the 2016 elections. An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision could strip the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission of the authority to draw congressional districts and give that power to the Republican-led Legislature. If the court rules in favor of the Arizona Legislature, lawmakers might redraw the map at breakneck speed in the fall ahead of next year’s elections. They would likely add a Republican tilt to swing districts, hurting the re-election prospects of U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema, both Democrats. But the impact could be the opposite in other states, like California, where independent redistricting commissions could be challenged as well.
California’s Democratic-controlled Legislature could squeeze Republican members of Congress out of their districts. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has warned against giving lawmakers that power. Independent commissions in Hawaii, Idaho, New Jersey and Washington state could also lose authority.
Unless Congress steps in.
A bill introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives, with the support of nine Democrats and six Republicans, would prevent changes to congressional maps before the 2020 Census, when the next round of redistricting is scheduled to occur. A delay could buy time to enact legislative fixes or file court challenges to protect independent commissions.
Full Article: Arizona Legislature, Congress at odds on redistricting.