Has the United States Supreme Court just given California Democrats the right to gerrymander California’s congressional districts to their hearts’ delight? That’s the most likely conclusion from the oral arguments in a case involving the Arizona independent redistricting commission. If the Court rules for the Arizona legislature, as the oral arguments strongly imply, the Court will also of necessity toss out the current California congressional maps and return California districting to the legislature.
In 2010, California voters took congressional redistricting away from the legislature and gave it to the newly created Citizens Redistricting Commission. Arizona has a similar commission, and legislative Republicans there were unhappy with that state’s new congressional lines. So they sued contending only the legislature can draw congressional districts. The Supreme Court appears likely to agree with Arizona’s Republicans, but in the process it will give a huge gift to California Democrats.