Judges reject Democrats' redistricting argument - East Valley Tribune: News

Judges reject Democrats' redistricting argument

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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2008 9:27 am | Updated: 8:57 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Arizona Court of Appeals has rebuffed a coalition of Democrats and Hispanics to force redrawing of the state's 30 legislative districts in a fashion that would give Democrats a better chance to take control of the Legislature.

In a unanimous ruling, the court overturned a trial judge's ruling that the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission did not give sufficient consideration to a legal requirement that they do what they can to create politically competitive

districts.

These are districts where the number of registered Democrats and Republicans is sufficiently close so that a candidate from either party has a reasonable chance of getting elected.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fields had said a constitutional provision approved by voters in 2000 creating the independent commission required that members do more to promote competitiveness.

But Judge Maurice Portley, writing for the appellate court, said commissioners did consider competitiveness in drawing the lines.

He said their decision not to alter the lines to provide more balance between Republican and Democrat voters was justified because they concluded -- properly, he said -- that doing so would harm the other goals the Constitution requires them to consider, including protecting communities of interest.

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