The Fourteenth Amendment contains a number of important concepts, most famously state action, privileges & immunities, citizenship, due process, and equal protection—all of which are contained in Section One. However, the Fourteenth Amendment contains four other sections. Section Two deals with the apportionment of representatives to Congress. Section Three forbids a
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Is Arizona’s use of a commission to adopt congressional districts permissible under the Constitution and 2 U.S.C. § 2a(c), and does the Arizona Legislature have standing to bring suit to challenge such a commission?
In 2000, Arizona passed Proposition 106, which formed the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (“AIRC”). The AIRC’s purpose is to manage congressional districts. Prior to the referendum, the Arizona State Legislature (“Legislature”) had the power to determine congressional districts through the traditional legislative process. In 2012, the Legislature filed suit in the U.S. District of Arizona to challenge the legitimacy of the AIRC. A three-judge district court dismissed the suit, holding that the AIRC could remain in charge of redrawing congressional districts. The Legislature appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the Elections Clause and 2 U.S.C. § 2a(c) permit Arizona to use the AIRC to redraw congressional districts.
Questions as Framed for the Court by the Parties
- Do the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution and 2 U.S.C. § 2a(c) permit Arizona’s use of a commission to adopt congressional districts?
- Does the Arizona Legislature have standing to bring this suit?
In Arizona prior to 2000, the Arizona State Legislature (“Legislature”) had the authority to alter and decide congressional districts through the ordinary legislative process. See AZ State Legislature v. AZ Independent Redistricting Committee, 997 F. Supp. 2d 1047, 1049 (D. Ariz.
- Irin Camron & Ned Resnikoff: Supreme Court’s New Session Could Bring Decisions on Huge Issues, MSNBC.com (Oct. 7, 2014).
- Howard Fischer: Commission Urges Supreme Court to Preserve Arizona Legislative Boundaries, Arizona Capitol Times (Nov. 18, 2014).
- David G. Savage: Supreme Court to Review Independent Redistricting Commissions, LA Times (Oct. 2, 2014).
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Free Exercise Clause refers to the section of the First Amendment italicized here:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...
The Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution states that "the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states." This clause protects fundamental rights of individual citizens and restrains state efforts to discriminate against out-of-state citizens. However, the Privileges and Immunities Clause extends not to all commercial activity, but only to fundamental rights.
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