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Arizona legislative redistricting case won’t impact 2016 election

PHOENIX — An Arizona case before the U.S. Supreme Court this term will likely not affect the 2016 election.

The case questions the constitutionality of Arizona legislative redistricting. The lines are supposed to be drawn so each district has about the same number of people. Some state Republicans challenged the redistricting, claiming when the lines were redrawn, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission gave an unfair advantage to Democrats.

But ASU law professor Paul Bender said even if the high court overturns the lower court decision, and orders new lines to be drawn, it won’t make much difference.

“Those changes in size would be very small, and would not affect the result of any election,” he said.

And, Bender said, not much will change for the elections in 2016.

“No matter how the court decides the case, it’s unlikely to have much of an impact on politics in Arizona, because the deviations are so small,” he said, referring to the difference in size between districts.

Bender said the case is in the Supreme Court because of constitutional issues.

“The issue in this case is whether the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission acted unconstitutionally in creating districts that were not of exactly equal population.”

A date for the high court to hear the case has not yet been set. The final decision may not come until next June.

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