Jenner & Block

US Supreme Court Ruling in Arizona Redistricting Case Lines Up with Firm’s Amicus Brief Argument

The US Supreme Court agreed with arguments outlined in a firm amicus brief in a high-profile Arizona redistricting case.  In the case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission et al, the Court ruled 5-4 that an independent redistricting commission in Arizona is constitutional.  Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg endorsed what she called “an endeavor by Arizona voters to address the problem of partisan gerrymandering — the drawing of legislative district lines to subordinate adherents of one political party and entrench a rival party in power.”  The decision is in line with the firm’s amicus brief, filed on behalf of the Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters and other reform groups that support the Commission.  In an article in the New Mexico Political Report, Partner Jessie Ring Amunson, one author of the brief, calls the decision a “total victory” for supporters of independent redistricting.   Ms. Amunson observes that “the practice of partisan gerrymandering has reached unprecedented levels in the United States” and adds that such gerrymandering leads to voter apathy and reduced voter participation.  Other members of the team authoring the brief included Partner Paul M. Smith, Associate Michelle R. Singer, Senior Paralegal Cheryl Olson and Legal Secretary Sheree Anyiam.