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- Kim Strassel - Wall Street Journal; Author The Intimidation Game
On April 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. In 2012, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission redrew the map for the state legislative districts based on the results of the 2010 census. Wesley Harris and other individual voters sued the Commission and alleged that the newly redrawn districts were underpopulated in Democratic-leaning districts and over-populated in Republican-leaning ones and that the Commission had, therefore, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Commission countered that the population deviations were the result of attempts to comply with the Voting Rights Act. A three-judge district court ruled in favor of the Commission.
On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court by a vote of 8-0. Justice Breyer delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court, which held that the federal district court did not err in upholding Arizona's redistricting plan. The challengers failed to demonstrate, the Court explained, that illegitimate considerations more likely than not were the predominant motivation for the plan's population deviations.
To discuss the case, we have Mark F. “Thor” Hearne, II, who is Partner at Arent Fox LLP.
Recent North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin court decisions have invalidated voter ID laws under constitutional and Voting Rights Act challenges. How do these recent decisions square with Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, where the United States Supreme Court upheld the Indiana voter ID law in 2008? In this podcast, Maya M. Noronha, an election attorney at BakerHostetler, and Dan Tokaji, a law professor at The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, addressed these recent decisions and debated the legality of voter ID laws.
Everyone is interested in free, fair and open elections. For decades, the country has debated the proper balance between First Amendment speech rights and campaign finance and disclosure laws. In a new book, The Intimidation Game, Kimberley Strassel seeks to show, through first-hand accounts, how this tension can and has been used against free speech and free association, chilling or even silencing political opposition.