California legislative leaders from both parties applauded Monday’s Supreme Court decision upholding the use of independent commissions to draw the boundaries for legislative districts.
In a 5-4 decision, the court upheld Arizona’s independent commission created by a ballot initiative. The state’s Republican-led state legislature filed suit, claiming that under the Constitution only a state legislature could draw boundaries.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has sided with the people,” said the California Senate’s minority leader, Republican Bob Huff from San Dimas. “California voters overwhelmingly approved Propositions 11 and 20 to take the redistricting process out of the hands of elected officials and give it to an independent body, the California Redistricting Commission.”
“The Court’s decision will ensure that Californians will continue to have an open and fair redistricting process,” Huff added. “I am glad that the decades of gerrymandering are officially over.”
On the Democratic side, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins from San Diego and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon from Los Angeles issued a joined statement calling the decision “a victory for California’s open and publicly accessible redistricting process. We hope other states will follow suit now that the court has removed any question about its constitutionality.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing the opinion for the majority, said, “The people of Arizona turned to the initiative to curb the practice of gerrymandering.” She quoted James Madison in concluding, “Arizona voters sought to restore ‘the core principle of republican government,’ namely, ‘that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.’”
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: