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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


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.

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Commentary

Election Law @ Moritz is 10 Years Old!

Back in 2004, those of us who worked on election law here at Ohio State realized that Ohio might play a pivotal role in the upcoming presidential election. (It did, but for the sake of the nation not as pivotally as it might have.) We also knew that 2004 would be the first presidential election after passage of the Help America Vote Act, with all its new rules on voter registration databases, voter identification, and provisional ballots. We thought it might be useful if, as a team, we tried to get up to speed on the new terrain of “election administration law,” which had been a sleepy field in terms of scholarship before 2000. We had a sense that teamwork would enable us to produce various forms of useful scholarship that we could not accomplish working separately.

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

Ohio treasurer receives OK to host town halls

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article from the Associated Press about an attorney general opinion that allows the Ohio treasurer to conduct telephone town halls using public money. The opinion will likely have broad ramifications for the upcoming elections, Tokaji said.

“As a practical matter, while that legal advice is certainly right, very serious concerns can arise about whether these are really intended to inform Ohio constituents about the operations of his office or if they’re campaign events,” he said.

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Info & Analysis

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