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Constitutional Law – Elections Clause

U.S. Supreme Court


Constitutional Law – Elections Clause

The Elections Clause permits a state to provide for redistricting by independent commission.

The history and purpose of the Clause weigh heavily against precluding the people of Arizona from creating a commission operating independently of thestate legislature to establish congressional districts. Such preclusion would also run up against the Constitution’s animating principle that the people themselves are the originating source of all the powers of government.

The dominant purpose of the Elections Clause, the historical record bears out, was to empower Congress to override state election rules, not to restrict the way States enact legislation. See Inter Tribal Council of Ariz., 570 U. S., at ___. Ratification arguments in support of congressional oversight focused on potential abuses by state politicians, but the legislative processes by which the States could exercise their initiating role in regulating congressional elections occasioned no debate.

997 F. Supp. 2d 1047, affirmed.

Ginsburg, J.; Roberts, C.J., dissenting; Scalia, J., dissenting.

13-1314 Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

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