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Arizona Minority Coalition for Redistricting v. The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: March 6, 2002 / October 21, 2005
State: Arizona
Issue: Redistricting
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S District Court for the District of Arizona (Case CV-03-1036-PHX-ROS); Supreme Court State of Arizona (Case CV-03-0356-SA); Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County (Case CV 2002-004380); Court of Appeals, State of Arizona Division One (Case 1 CA-CV 04-0061)


In this case, Plaintiffs, the Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting, several state legislators and others, brought Equal Protection challenges to Arizona's new districting plans for its state legislature and its congressional delegation. With respect to the redistricting plan regarding the state legislature, Plaintiffs specifically alleged that competitive districts were not created by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission ("Commission"). As to the congressional redistricting, Plaintiffs alleged that this new plan was a violation of Equal Protection as it discriminated based on race. Part of this alleged discrimination and challenge to the improper congressional plan consisted of removing the Hopi Tribe from the same district as the Navajo Nation.

The trial court enjoined the legislative plan in question, and entered summary judgment in favor of the Commission in relation to the congressional redistricting plan. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's holding regarding the state legislature districting plan, and remanded this claim for further analysis under rational basis, rather than strict scrutiny, review. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's granting of summary judgment on the Equal Protections claim regarding the congressional districting, as the Court of Appeals found that placing the Hopi Tribe in a separate district from the Navajo Nation respected the interests of both groups and the districts were properly drawn.

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