Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bipartisan group files amicus brief with SCOTUS in favor of the AZ Redistricting Commission. Guess who signed ... and who did not.

Here is a report from The Ripon Advance via Google Alerts.

U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) has teamed up with 19 of his House colleagues in submitting a bipartisan congressional amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court concerning a redistricting case about to come before the court, Ribble said Thursday.

The brief supports the idea that U.S. citizens have the right to choose how the federal election and redistricting processes will be conducted in their particular states.

"People coming together and solving problems on common ground is the essence of good government, and that is what we have seen with the citizens of Arizona in this case," Ribble said. "Gerrymandering that makes districts increasingly extreme on either side of the political spectrum ultimately hurts all Americans. When a district is so heavily liberal or conservative that the only competition for a seat occurs during the primary election, it can disenfranchise millions of voters."

The brief is centered on a current Supreme Court case originating in Arizona. That case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, is scheduled to begin oral arguments in March. The document makes several strong arguments in support of the constitutional rights of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

"I commend the people of Arizona for working toward a solution for this problem and hope that the Supreme Court will uphold their constitutional right to do so," Ribble said.

From Ribble's web site:

In supporting the constitutionality of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the amicus brief makes these arguments:

  • Congress has broad and express Constitutional authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of congressional elections,
  • For more than 170 years, Congress has done so in a way that supports the people of Arizona to form a redistricting commission.
  • Congress has in fact weighed in and has said in federal statute that states’ redistricting can be done by more than the State Legislature proper.
  • The use of an independent commission for redistricting is consistent with, and supports, core principles of federalism reflected in the Constitution and the Elections Clause itself, which seek to ensure a direct link between national representatives and the People.
  • The use of an independent commission is an important, democracy-promoting development that will help reduce negative effects of severe partisan gerrymandering.

And this, I think, is telling. Raul Grijalva was the only AZ Rep to sign on. Perhaps he was the only one asked. I am checking and will let you know. Here are the signators on the brief.

The amicus brief also was signed by U.S. Reps. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), David Price (D-NC), Tom Reed (R-NY), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).

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