Like Asking the Foxes to Guard the Statehouse

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  • dale eisman, dan vicuna, kathay feng
Common Cause Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, a case with national implications for efforts to end the gerrymandering of congressional districts. Common Cause National Redistricting Director Kathay Feng issued the following statement after arguments:

“The Arizona Legislature is arguing that politicians have a right to draw their own district lines – that’s like asking the foxes to guard the statehouse. 

“The Supreme Court Justices are rightly concerned about political gerrymandering, and the people’s right to innovate to address this problem in each state. Fourteen friend of the court   briefs were filed in support of the Arizona Redistricting Commission. The represented states, governors, organizations and individuals come from every part of the political spectrum. We agree that our democracy is founded on the right of voters to choose our representatives, not the arrogant notion that politicians have a right to pick their voters.  

“Sixteen states with redistricting systems designed to make the process less partisan could be at risk. In addition, reform efforts in a dozen states would be stopped dead in their tracks if the Court backs state legislators’ attempt to win a constitutional right to gerrymander. We are hopeful that the Justices will reaffirm the long tradition of citizens expressing their will by passing election reforms that strengthen our democracy.” 

Common Cause signed one of 14 “friend of the court” briefs supporting the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. Common Cause Illinois signed a separate brief with former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and other reformers in the state. Common Cause has fought for four decades to secure fair, transparent, and inclusive redistricting rules in the states, winning major reforms in states such as Arizona and California. 

For more information on this case and on redistricting reform, go to: