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Litigation

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)

Summary

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.

Court Documents

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Commentary

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral Fix We Really Need

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral College winner should be the majority choice in each state that counts towards that Electoral College victory.

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In the News

Edward B. Foley

White House drops Obama-era discrimination claim against Texas voter ID law

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in The Christian Science Monitor in an article about how the Trump administration dropped a discrimination claim against a Texas voter ID law. Viewed as one of the strictest voting requirements in the country by voting rights advocates, the law required voters to show one of seven valid forms of ID.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that the law disproportionately impacted minorities and those living in poverty. The court required the state to adjust its requirements before the general election. According to court testimony, Hispanic voters were twice as likely to lack proper ID under the law, while black voters were three times as likely.

“Voting litigation is increasing, not decreasing,” Foley said. “The main impression … is that when a law looks like it’s engaging in outright disenfranchisement of a valid voter, even conservative judges have been stopping that. [But] the judiciary is more tolerant with state legislatures adjusting issues of convenience and accessibility, if the adjustment is not outright disenfranchisement.”
 

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Info & Analysis

District Judge Dismisses Georgia Voter Rolls Case

In an order released late Friday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten dismissed a lawsuit filed against Georgia\'s Secretary of State by the advocacy organization Common Cause, which alleged that Georgia unlawfully removed voters from registration lists preceding the 2016 Presidential election. The case is Common Cause v. Kemp.

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