Rep. Grijalva Praises Supreme Court Decision Upholding Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman RaúlM. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement today after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission that, “[u]nder Arizona’s Constitution, the electorate shares lawmaking authority on equal footing with Arizona’s legislature,” and as such, independent redistricting commissions approved by Arizona’s voters by ballot initiative are a fair and valid means of determining Congressional Districts.
“Today, the Supreme Court validated the demands of Arizonans to leave partisan politics behind when it comes to drawing up Congressional Districts,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Elections are not games for politicians to rig, and this court decision makes clear that public officials cannot trump the will of the people in an attempt to stack the electoral map in their favor.”
The final paragraph of the Court’s decision reads, in part:
“The voice of the people should always be respected – especially by those entrusted by the voters with public office,” Grijalva continued. “Our state legislature should have to adhere to the standards passed by our voters. Not only did this shameful power grab threaten the impartiality of our elections in Arizona, but if the legislature had succeeded, this could have set a legal precedent to invalidate all voter-initiated election reform laws across the country. Thankfully, we are instead left with a strong reminder of the most precious power Americans have in our Democracy: their voice.”
“The people of Arizona turned to the initiative to curb the practice of gerrymandering and, thereby, to ensure that Members of Congress would have ‘an habitual recollection of their dependence on the people.’ The Federalist No. 57, at 350 (J. Madison.). In so acting, Arizona voters sought to restore ‘the core principle of republican government,’ namely, ‘that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.’Berman, Managing Gerrymandering, 83 Texas L. Rev. 781 (2005). The Elections Clause does not hinder that endeavor.”
As the Supreme Court took up Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Rep. Grijalva fought hard to ensure they upheld the will of Arizona’s voters. On January 23, 2015, Rep. Grijalva joined 19 other Members of Congress to submit a bipartisan Congressional amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of the Arizona Redistricting Commission. He also joined 16 other Members in introducing the Citizens’ Districts Preservation Act (H.R. 2501) on May 21, 2015, which would protect the decision of voters in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, New Jersey and Washington to instate independent redistricting commissions in their respective states.