State Capitol News
8:53 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Lawmakers Vote to Join Fight to Overturn Redisctricting Maps

Two lawsuits already have been filed, one challenging the way the commission divided up the 30 legislative districts and the other over the nine congressional districts. Both lawsuits contend the commission did not follow laws in drawing the maps. Rep. Ted Vogt said this new lawsuit has a much narrower focus.

"Our federal constitution explicitly states that the Legislature of the several states shall determine the time, the place and the manner of the elections," said Representative Vogt. "And what could be more intrinsic to the manner of holding elections than actually drawing up the maps in which those representatives will run?"

The Legislature used to draw both congressional and legislative lines until a 2000 voter initiative took that power from them and instead gave it to the redistricting commission. Vogt said that still does not make the commission actions legal. But Rep. Tom Chabin said Vogt is missing a key point.

"The Arizona voters said we have another Legislature," said Chabin. "And it's the Independent Redistricting Commission. Our Supreme Court has ruled that, on redistricting, the legislative body that determines that is the Independent Redistricting Commission."

No one was able to say on Tuesday what the legal battle will cost, other than taxpayers will pick up the tab. 

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