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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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In the News

Edward B. Foley

Symposium: Wechsler, history and gerrymandering

A post written by Professor Edward Foley was published on SCOTUSblog.

“When we look back on the half-century since Sullivan, we see a legacy in which the Supreme Court itself contributed to America’s growth as a people committed to political freedom. Sullivan is entrenched as precedent precisely because it is now indelibly part of our national self-understanding," Foley writes. "For Gill to be successful like Sullivan, it too will need to become woven into our sense of America as a democracy. The way for Gill to accomplish this is to declare: 'Although the original Gerry-mander was never tested in this Court, the attack on its validity has carried the day in the court of history.' If the court says this, then 50 years from now—thanks in large part to Gill itself—we may have matured into the genuinely representative democracy we are still striving to be.”
 

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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a gerrymandering case involving Wisconsin state legislative districts. The court also granted a request by the state to temporarily block the lower court\'s decision until the appeal is resolved. The case is Gill v. Whitford.

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