FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Danny Hernandez
(PHOENIX) June 29, 2015 - Today, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). In a 5-4 decision, the Court deemed Proposition 106, a voter-enacted reform that gave the nonpartisan IRC the power to draw congressional and legislative boundaries in Arizona, is not a violation of the U.S. Constitution Elections Clause.
“The Supreme Court’s reasoning draws from our amicus brief, detailing the history and Congressional debate surrounding Arizona’s admission into the Union,” said Sam Wercinski, Arizona Advocacy Network’s Executive Director. “This decision affirms the authority of voters to pass or reject laws at the ballot box, a power that has advanced many policies for the People which lawmakers failed to address.”
Dr. Doris Marie Provine, AZAN’s board president added, “Voters can continue to confidently respond to politicians inaction or abuse of power through a Citizen’s Initiative, Referendum or Recall, as we have done many times in recent history.”
The IRC was created by voters through a citizen’s initiative, the state’s unique form of direct democracy. Prior to 2000, Arizona’s Constitution allowed the State Legislature to create the boundaries of congressional districts. Gerrymandering and an unresponsive, unaccountable legislature compelled Arizonans to take control away from them. The initiative passed by a 3-1 margin.
“A different decision, one that favored self-interested politicians over the state’s citizens, would have been a devastating blow to democracy in Arizona.” Wercinski continued. “The IRC was created by the people, and given a responsibility to serve the people’s best interests regardless of which political party may control government when redistricting occurs. Today’s decision strengthens the foundation that our state was built on.”
About AZAN: Arizona Advocacy Network works for electoral justice, political rights and full civic participation to achieve government of, by and for the People. Our work includes: strengthening Arizona's Clean Elections system; advocating for full, immediate disclosure of all campaign contributions; promoting anti-corruption and conflict of interest laws including gift bans; guarding voting rights, voter registration and election integrity; defending Arizona’s judicial merit selection system, and protecting Arizona's ballot initiative and referendum processes. Learn more at www.AZadvocacy.org.