Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) joined with 19 colleagues to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.
“Districts drawn by incumbents to protect their jobs makes politicians less accountable to their constituents and more accountable to the special interests, which has eroded public trust and contributed to a deep and intractable dysfunction in Congress,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “In California, we have experienced firsthand that a non-partisan, citizen-driven redistricting process is not only possible, but that its success makes it imperative for other states to follow our lead to ensure that our government is ‘of the people, for the people, by the people.’ The Supreme Court ruling in the case of Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission could have far reaching consequences, undermining state laws in California, and in other states, that have adopted citizen redistricting commissions to eliminate partisan gerrymandering.”
“Instead of politicians cherry-picking their voters, independent redistricting commissions give voters real choices in selecting their elected officials,” said Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs at Common Cause. “Independent redistricting commissions are a critical step to reduce polarization and increase civility in politics. Common Cause commends Congresswoman Brownley for signing an amicus brief in support of independent redistricting commissions, and we encourage the Supreme Court to uphold the ability of voters to say ‘no’ to partisan gerrymandering.”
The amicus brief, submitted by a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, argues that Arizona’s use of an independent commission to adopt congressional districts is constitutional and authorized by 2 U.S.C. § 2a. First, the brief explains that Congress has broad and express constitutional authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of congressional elections, and that for more than a century, Congress has done so in a way that supports Arizona’s law here. Second, the brief argues that use of an independent commission for districting is consistent with, and supports, core principles of federalism reflected in the Constitution and the Elections Clause itself, which seeks to ensure a direct link between national representatives and the people. Third, the brief demonstrates that use of an independent commission is an important, democracy-promoting development that will help reduce negative effects of severe partisan gerrymandering.
A copy of the amicus brief can be found here: LINK