Litigation in the 2010 cycle

(Click here for a summary of which maps were struck/upheld in the 2010 cycle.)
(Click here for a summary of which maps were struck/upheld in the 2000 cycle.)
(Click for individual cases in the 2000, 1990, 1980 cycles.)

Redistricting status map

Suit filed  
All suits resolved  

Note: Under federal law, a three-judge federal trial court hears constitutional challenges to federal or state legislative districts or requests for preclearance, and these decisions are appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Federal appellate courts therefore tend to get involved only when there is no constitutional challenge or judicial preclearance request, or when only local districts are challenged.

  • Arizona

    Ariz. State Legis. v. Ariz. Ind. Redistricting Comm'n, No. 2:12-cv-01211 (D. Ariz.) & No. 13-1314 (S. Ct.): a challenge in federal court to the authority of the redistricting commission to draw congressional maps. The Constitution gives power over fed. elections to the state "legislature," unless Congress says otherwise. As the case has gone to the Supreme Court, there are three issues: 1) whether a commission may draw congressional lines instead; 2) whether a federal statute has authorized non-legislative processes; and 3) whether the legislature has standing to bring the case in federal court at all.
         - Trial court
              - Complaint (June 7, 2012) and amd. complaint (July 20).
              - Motion to dismiss (Aug. 10), response (Aug. 27), reply (Sept. 7).
                   - Order dismissing case for failure to state a claim (Feb. 21).
              - Motion for preliminary injunction (Sept. 20), response (Oct. 18), reply (Oct. 28).
                   - Amicus brief from Burke et al. (Dec. 19, 2013), response (Jan. 8, 2014).
              - 2d motion to dismiss (Dec. 23, 2013), response (Jan. 20, 2014), reply (Jan. 30).
                   - Order dismissing case for failure to state a claim (Feb. 21).
         - U.S. Supreme Court
              - Notice of appeal (Feb. 26).
              - Jurisdictional statement (Apr. 28).
                   - Motion to dismiss or affirm (June 30), reply (July 14).
                   - Order setting the case for argument (Oct. 2).
              - Brief by legislature (Dec. 2).
                   - Amicus briefs by Coolidge-Reagan Found., NCSL (Dec. 9).
    The latest: On February 21, 2014, the court dismissed the challenge. It found that the constitutional delegation of power to the legislature in the Elections Clause is not limited to the state legislative body alone, but encompasses all of a state's lawmaking processes (including a delegation to a body lawfully created by citizen's initiative). On October 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

    Leach v. Ariz. Ind. Redistricting Comm'n, No. CV2012-007344 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa County): a challenge in state court to the congressional maps, based on alleged procedural deficiencies in the manner by which the maps were drawn.
         - Complaint and exhibits (Apr. 27, 2012), 1st (June 5), 2d amd. complaint (Nov. 9).
         - Motion to dismiss orig. complaint (May 21).
         - Motion to dismiss amd. complaint (June 27), response (July 27), reply (Aug. 15).
              - Opinion dismissing some counts (Oct. 15).
         - Motion to dismiss 2d complaint (Dec. 3).
              - Stipulation to dismiss count 1 (Dec. 6), response to remainder (Dec. 24).
              - Reply (Jan. 7, 2013).
              - Order denying motion to dismiss (Feb. 21).
         - Defts. motion for judgment on the pleadings (June 5), response (July 1), reply (July 22).
              - Opposition by Comm'r Stertz (Aug. 8), response (Aug. 12).
              - Order dismissing individual comm'rs (Aug. 13).
         - Stay pending resolution of Ariz. State Legis. v. AIRC (Oct. 31).
    The latest: On October 15, the court dismissed some claims based on the commission's allegedly improper process, including the claim that the commission considered an improper grid as the starting point for the congressional map, the claim that it improperly advertised a draft map, and the claim that technical consultants were improperly chosen. The court preserved the viability of other claims, but dismissed the complaint in its entirety as overly long and largely irrelevant; plaintiffs were invited to file an amended complaint, and did so on November 9, 2012. The individual commissioners were dismissed on August 13, 2013; the commission (as an institution) remains in the case as a defendant. The case has been stayed pending resolution of Ariz. State Legis. v. AIRC, above, by the Supreme Court.

    Harris v. Ariz. Ind. Redistricting Comm'n, No. 2:12-cv-00894 (D. Ariz.) & No. 14-232 (S. Ct.): a challenge in federal court to the state legislative maps, based on alleged equal population violations stemming from alleged partisan bias.
         - Trial court
              - Complaint and exhibits (Apr. 27, 2012), 1st (July 5), 2d amd. complaint (Nov. 16).
              - Notice disclaiming intent to affect 2012 elections (May 22).
              - Motion to dismiss (May 23), opposition (June 25), denied as moot (July 6).
              - Motion to dismiss (Aug. 3), response (Sept. 7), reply (Sept. 28).
                   - Motion under rule 56 (Sept. 7), response (Sept. 28), reply (Oct. 5).
                   - Denial of motion to dismiss (Nov. 16).
              - Defts' mot. for judg. on pleadings (Dec. 3), resp. (Dec. 21), reply (Jan. 8, 2013).
                   - Order granting motion w/r/t commissioners (Feb. 22).
              - Defts' motion for protective order (Dec. 21), resp. (Jan. 9, 2013), reply (Jan. 15).
                   - Order denying motion (Feb. 22).
              - Defts' mot. re std. of review (Jan. 14, 2013), response (Jan. 31), reply (Feb. 11).
                   - Order denying motion (Feb. 22).
              - Legis. privilege decisions to invoke (1, 2, 3) (Feb. 6), not to invoke (1, 2) (Feb. 8).
                   - Opinion including ruling against privilege (Apr. 29, 2014).
              - Proposed findings by plaintiffs, defendants (Mar. 18, 2013).
              - Pretrial briefs by plaintiffs, defendants (Mar. 18).
                   - Pretrial order (Mar. 25).
                   - Post-trial briefs by plaintiffs, defendants, amicus Navajo Nation (Apr. 10).
              - Supp. brief by plaintiffs (July 19), defendants, amicus Navajo Nation (Aug. 2).
                   - Plaintiffs' reply (Aug. 9).
              - Opinion rejecting challenges, concurrence, dissent (Apr. 29, 2014).
         - U.S. Supreme Court
              - Notice of appeal (June 25).
              - Jurisdictional statement (Aug. 25).
              - Motion to dismiss or affirm (Nov. 13).
              - Opposition (Dec. 2).
    The latest: On February 22, 2013, the court dismissed the Commissioners individually, with the case proceeding against the Commission as a whole and against the SOS in his official capacity. On April 29, 2014, the court rejected the remaining challenges under federal law. It found that population deviations were primarily driven by the desire to gain preclearance, and not by partisanship. The case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Adams v. Comm'n on Appellate Court Appointments, No. CV-10-0405-SA (Ariz. Sup. Ct. Jan. 19, 2011): a challenge in state court to the eligibility of three individuals nominated to the pool of potential commissioners for the state's independent commission.
         - Opinion (July 8, 2011).
    The latest: The Arizona Supreme Court determined that two directors of irrigation districts were, as "public officers," ineligible to be named to the commission; an appointed tribal judge was not a "public officer," and therefore not disqualified.

    Ariz. Ind. Redistricting Comm'n v. Brewer, No. CV2011-019475 (Az. Super. Ct., Maricopa County) and No. CV-11-0313 (Az. Sup. Ct.): a petition in state court seeking a declaration that the impeachment of Commissioner Mathis was invalid, on state constitutional grounds.
         - Background documents
              - Gov. letter removing Mathis, call for session seeking concurrence (Nov. 1, 2011).
              - Joint Legislative Redistricting Comm. grievances (Nov. 1).
         - Trial court
              - Complaint (Nov. 1).
              - Application for temporary restraining order (Nov. 1).
              - Voluntary dismissal without prejudice to refiling (Nov. 2).
         - State Supreme Court
              - Petition for Special Action (Nov. 4).
              - Decision reinstating Commissioner Mathis (Nov. 17), opinion (Apr. 20).
                   - Clarification of decision reinstating Mathis (Nov. 23).
    The latest: On November 17, the Arizona Supreme Court declared the impeachment of Commissioner Mathis invalid, stating that Gov. Brewer's removal letter did not demonstrate the neglect of duty or misconduct required for impeachment.

    Arizona v. Holder, No. 1:11-cv-01559 (D.D.C.): a challenge in federal court to the constitutionality of section 4(b) and section 5 (the coverage formula and preclearance provisions) of the Voting Rights Act. The challenge focuses on provisions designating coverage based on language minority status.
         - Complaint (Aug. 30, 2011) and amended complaint (Sept. 28).
         - Opinion denying three-judge court (Jan. 11, 2012).
         - Voluntary dismissal without prejudice (Apr. 10).
    The latest: On April 10, 2012, the case was voluntarily dismissed.

    Arizona v. Mathis, No. CV2011-016442 (Az. Super. Ct., Maricopa County), No. 1-CA-CV-12-0068 (Az. Ct. of Appeals, Div. 1), T-12-0002-CV (Az. Sup. Ct.): a petition in state court to force three of Arizona's independent redistricting commissioners to comply with an investigation by the state Attorney General into alleged violations of the state's Open Meeting Act, in connection with the hiring of redistricting consultants.
         - Trial court
              - Petition for Enforcement of Written Investigative Demands, Exhibits (Sept. 7, 2011).
              - Decision finding conflict by AG, requiring alternate counsel (Oct. 27).
              - Commission motion for summary judgment (Oct. 19), reply (Nov. 9).
                   - AG cross-motion for summary judgment (Oct. 25).
                        - Response by Comm'r McNulty (Nov. 9), Comm'r Herrera (Nov. 16).
                   - Statement of facts by AG (Oct. 25), commission (Nov. 9).
              - Decision granting summary judgment to commission (Dec. 9).
         - Court of appeals
              - Motion to dismiss the appeal (Jan. 27, 2012).
              - Opening brief of state (Feb. 3).
                   - Answering briefs by indiv. comm'rs (app.), Comm'n (app.) (Apr. 12).
                   - Reply (May 8).
              - Opinion affirming trial court (Dec. 11).
         - State Supreme Court
              - Petition to transfer to Sup. Ct. (May 7, 2012), response (May 14), denial (May 30).
    The latest: On Dec. 9, the court granted the commission's motion for summary judgment, finding the commissioners exempt from Arizona's general open meetings law, and the individual commissioners entitled to legislative immunity. On December 11, the court of appeals affirmed that decision; the court found that the commission is exempt from the open meetings law only to the extent of a direct conflict with the state constitution, and that communications relating to hiring are not exempt from that open meetings law, but also noted that the State had not appealed the trial court's decision that the Attorney General had no cause to proceed with further investigation, and therefore dismissed the case.

  • Ariz. Ind. Redistricting Comm'n v. Horne, No. CV2011-017914 (Az. Super. Ct., Maricopa County): a petition in state court seeking a declaration that the Attorney General lacks the power to prosecute or otherwise punish independent redistricting commission members for performance of their official duties, and that the Open Meeting Law is unenforceable against the commission.
         - Complaint (Sept. 27, 2011).
         - Motion to dismiss (Oct. 3), response (Oct. 19), reply (Oct. 25).
    The latest: On October 3, this case was consolidated with Arizona v. Mathis, above.

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