Can the voters of a State take from the legislature the prerogative to draw lines of legislative districts and place it in the hands of an independent redistricting commission?
That is the issue squarely before the United States Supreme Court in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Redistricting Commission, heard at oral argument on March 2.
The United States Constitution at Article 1 Section 4 seems to place the responsibility for setting the “Times., Places and Manner” of elections in the hands of the several legislatures, but the question is whether the electors of a State can modify that right by ballot initiative.
It’s a simple but important question. The answer should be in hand no later than the end of May.