Media for Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting CommissionAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 02, 2015 in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 29, 2015 in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
We resist reading the Election Clause to single out federal elections as the one area in which states may not use citizen initiatives as an alternative legislative process.
The framers may not have imagined the modern initiative process one in which the people of a state exercise legislative authority on an equal footing with the authority of an institutional legislature but the invention of the initiative was in full harmony with the Constitution's conception of the people as the font of government power.
Banning lawmaking by initiative to direct a state's method of apportioning Congressional Districts as the Arizona Legislature asked us to do, would have far-reaching consequences.
It would cast out on numerous other time, place, and manner regulations governing federal elections that states have adopted by the initiative mode of legislating.
To mention but one of many examples, permanent voter registration has been secured by ballot initiative.
Barring the initiative could also endanger election provisions contained in state constitutions that were adopted by conventions and ratified by voters at the ballot box without involvement or approval by the Legislature.
Turning to the initiative to curb the practice of gerrymandering, Arizona voters sought to restore the core principle that voters should choose their representatives and not the other way around.
The Election Clause reaffirm does not hinder that endeavor.
The Chief Justice has filed a dissenting opinion to invite Justice Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.
Justice Scalia has filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justice Thomas; Justice Thomas has filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justice Scalia.