The key question the United States Supreme Court must address in deciding if state voters can create redistricting commissions for congressional districts is whether the people can be considered legislators when they create laws through the initiative process. It goes to the heart of the initiative power, which voters in both California and Arizona used to create citizens redistricting commissions.
The United Stated Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from the Arizona legislature seeking to overturn an appellate court decision affirming the power of Arizona voters to set up a redistricting commission. California voters took the same approach in wresting power away from legislators to draw the lines for congressional as well as state legislative districts.
Arizona’s legislature argued that only the legislature can draw congressional district lines. They point to the United States Constitution which states that “the times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.”