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Article by Chris Ford urged result adopted by high court


Arizona legislators sued in 2012 to retain the authority to draw their own districts (and those of congressional representatives in the state) notwithstanding the voters' creation in 2000, via ballot initiative, of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Committee. The legislators argued that they retained such authority pursuant to the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution. 


In an article published in December 2014 by Arizona's Record Reporter newspaper, Chris Ford, Esq. reviewed precedent relating to the term "legislature" in the Elections Clause and found that it includes legislative process -- a concept that, according to legal precedent, encompasses legislation by the people through a ballot initiative process. 


In his article, Mr. Ford advocated that the Supreme Court "respect" precedent dating back to 1916 reading the Elections Clause to include legislative acts conducted by not only a legislature, but also others empowered to legislate, such as the voters participating in a ballot initiative process. Such a reading of the Elections Clause would lead to the conclusion that the redistricting committee, and not the legislature, is authorized to draw legislative districts in Arizona.

The Supreme Court, in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Committee, 135 S.Ct. 2652 (2015), issued on June 29, 2015, reached the same conclusion It ruled that the Arizona Independent Redistricting Committee was authorized under the Elections Clause to draw legislative districts in Arizona for both state and federal lawmakers. In so doing, the court adhered to nearly 100 years of precedent.



U.S. Supreme Court building. photo source

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