On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the will of the voters with its ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The Court’s ruling was not a resounding victory in the battle against GOP gerrymandering; rather, it simply confirms the rights of voters in states like Arizona and California to create nonpartisan commissions to conduct congressional redistricting. In most other states, redistricting authority remains in the hands of state legislatures, where Republican lawmakers have employed aggressive gerrymandering to distort Congress and further their partisan agenda. The Arizona ruling is a positive development for those who value meaningful democratic representation in Congress. But Democrats and our allies must not allow this decision to divert us from the most effective strategy to fight GOP gerrymandering: electing more Democratic lawmakers to draw the maps. While the establishment of redistricting commissions by voters will remain an available remedy in a few of the most egregiously gerrymandered states, the work of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) and Advantage 2020 to elect more Democratic state legislators remains the most crucial weapon in the fight for fairer districts.
One factor limiting the potential impact of the Arizona ruling is that so few states have adopted redistricting commissions. California voters created a commission in 2008 that functions much like Arizona’s, but so far, no other states have followed suit. Nine other states use appointed or advisory commissions in the redistricting process, and even among these nine, state legislators are substantially involved in the process.
One obstacle to voter-created redistricting commissions is the ballot initiative process itself. The steps required to place such a measure on the ballot vary widely from state to state, and the effort can be burdensome and expensive.
Full Article: Reality of redistricting in a post-Arizona world | TheHill.