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Supreme Court upholds Arizona voting map

Supreme Court upholds Arizona voting map
© Greg Nash

The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously upheld a district court ruling in Arizona affirming the state's legislative districts, after accusations that a redrawing of the lines hurt Republicans' influence.

Justices said the map drawn by an independent commission after the 2010 census didn't violate the “one person, one vote" principle. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the court's opinion

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Opponents of the map contended that it violated the 14th Amendment, but the court determined they hadn't proved that population deviations in the map benefited Democrats politically.

The case involved a group of Republican voters who said that when an Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission redrew the state's legislative districts, it packed Republicans into a few districts, giving Democrats an advantage. 

The redistricting, according to the group of voters, left Democratic-leaning districts with smaller populations, ABC News reported.

In 2014, a panel of federal judges said the new boundaries were an effort to comply with the Voting Rights Act. State officials said that the population differences between the districts didn't violate the equal-protection clause, according to ABC News.

State legislative districts need to have about the same number of people, but small differences are constitutional. In Arizona, the population differences between the districts vary from 2.2 percent to 8.8 percent.

The independent redistricting commission was formed in 2000 to draw new maps every 10 years.