Campaign Legal Center Explains What’s At Stake in Upcoming Supreme Court Arizona Redistricting Case

Today, the Campaign Legal Center released a short video explaining what is at stake in Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, a case challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s 2012 redistricting plan under the one person, one vote doctrine. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument on Tuesday, December 8. The Campaign Legal Center filed an amici brief on behalf of former Justice Department attorneys in support of the Commission’s redistricting plan.

The Campaign Legal Center’s brief explains that minor deviations in district population, which the plaintiffs challenge in the Arizona plan, are commonplace and constitutional when they further legitimate state interests, as they did here. As the brief makes clear, the state commission was fully justified in drawing districts with minor population deviations that complied with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and ensured that the plan did not decrease the opportunity of minority voters to elect their candidates of choice.

The video released today features Campaign Legal Center fellow Danielle Lang, who emphasizes that the Supreme Court’s decision in 2013 in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, does not render Arizona’s redistricting plan unconstitutional. “At the time of the redistricting, Section 5 compliance was clearly a rational and legitimate justification because it was legally required of Arizona,” explains Ms. Lang. 

The Campaign Legal Center stresses that if the challengers to the Arizona plan are successful, it would unnecessarily cause substantial disruption and upset political stability in states and municipalities nationwide. “Between 2010 and 2013, 1160 redistricting plans, state and local, were submitted to the Department of Justice for preclearance. If the Court adopts the rule that [the challengers] propose, which is incorrect, it would call into question all of these plans,” says Danielle Lang. “This should not be a hard case, but it’s undeniably an important case and could have ramifications across the country.”

To watch the Campaign Legal Center’s video, click here. To read the amici brief and appendix, click here and here, respectively.