Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and the Future of Redistricting Reform

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David Gartner

In 2018, voters in five different states passed successful initiatives that made it harder for politicians to choose their own districts and easier for independent voices to shape the redistricting process. This unprecedented transformation in the redistricting process would not have happened without the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. That decision confirmed the constitutionality of Arizona’s own Independent Redistricting Commission and created an outlet for citizens frustrated with dysfunctional governance and unresponsive legislators to initiate reforms through the initiative process. All of these 2018 initiatives created or expanded state redistricting commissions which are to some degree insulated from the direct sway of the majority party in their respective legislatures.

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