Minority Coalition v. Independent Com'n, No. 1 CA-CV 04-0061.

CourtSupreme Court of Arizona
Writing for the CourtPer Curiam
PartiesARIZONA MINORITY COALITION FOR FAIR REDISTRICTING; State Senator Ramon Valadez; State Senator Peter Rios; State Senator Carlos Avelar; State Senator James Sedillo; Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Garrido Wilcox; Esther Lumm; Virginia Rivera; Los Abogados, an Arizona corporation, Plaintiffs-Appellees, City of Flagstaff, Intervenor Plaintiff-Appellee, v. THE ARIZONA INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION; Steven W. Lynn, in his official capacity as Chairman and a Commissioner thereof; Andrea Minkoff, in her official capacity as Vice Chairman and a Commissioner thereof; Daniel R. Elder, in his official capacity as a Commissioner thereof; Joshua M. Hall, in his official capacity as a Commissioner thereof; James R. Huntwork, in his official capacity as a Commissioner thereof, Defendants-Appellants, and Arizonans for Fair and Legal Redistricting, an Arizona non-profit corporation; Dr. Jose Burell; Francis Ann Burell; Ephram Cordova; Craig Echeveste; Armando Gaypan; Jesse Hernandez; Gina Marcela; Al Pena; Al Rodriguez; Raul B. Romero; Raul R. Romero, Sr.; Martin Sepulveda; Ilia Terrazas; City of Kingman; Mohave County; Lake Havasu City, Intervenors-Appellants, The Navajo Nation; Leonard Gorman, Intervenors-Appellants, v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, a state agency; Janice K. Brewer, in her official capacity as Arizona Secretary of State, Defendants-Appellees, and The Hopi Tribe, Arizonans for Fair and Legal Redistricting, Inc., an Arizona non-profit corporation; Dr. Jose Burell; Francis Ann Burell; Ephram Cordova; Craig Echeveste; Armando Gaypan; Jesse Hernandez; Gina Marcela; Al Pena; Al Rodriguez; Raul B. Romero; Raul R. Romero, Sr.; Martin Sepulveda; Ilia Terrazas, Intervenors-Appellees.
Decision Date21 October 2005
Docket NumberNo. 1 CA-CV 04-0061.
121 P.3d 843
211 Ariz. 337
ARIZONA MINORITY COALITION FOR FAIR REDISTRICTING; State Senator Ramon Valadez; State Senator Peter Rios; State Senator Carlos Avelar; State Senator James Sedillo; Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Garrido Wilcox; Esther Lumm; Virginia Rivera; Los Abogados, an Arizona corporation, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
City of Flagstaff, Intervenor Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
THE ARIZONA INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION; Steven W. Lynn, in his official capacity as Chairman and a Commissioner thereof; Andrea Minkoff, in her official capacity as Vice Chairman and a Commissioner thereof; Daniel R. Elder, in his official capacity as a Commissioner thereof; Joshua M. Hall, in his official capacity as a Commissioner thereof; James R. Huntwork, in his official capacity as a Commissioner thereof, Defendants-Appellants, and
Arizonans for Fair and Legal Redistricting, an Arizona non-profit corporation; Dr. Jose Burell; Francis Ann Burell; Ephram Cordova; Craig Echeveste; Armando Gaypan; Jesse Hernandez; Gina Marcela; Al Pena; Al Rodriguez; Raul B. Romero; Raul R. Romero, Sr.; Martin Sepulveda; Ilia Terrazas; City of Kingman; Mohave County; Lake Havasu City, Intervenors-Appellants,
The Navajo Nation; Leonard Gorman, Intervenors-Appellants,
v.
Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, a state agency; Janice K. Brewer, in her official capacity as Arizona Secretary of State, Defendants-Appellees, and
The Hopi Tribe, Arizonans for Fair and Legal Redistricting, Inc., an Arizona non-profit corporation; Dr. Jose Burell; Francis Ann Burell; Ephram Cordova; Craig Echeveste; Armando Gaypan; Jesse Hernandez; Gina Marcela; Al Pena; Al Rodriguez; Raul B. Romero; Raul R. Romero, Sr.; Martin Sepulveda; Ilia Terrazas, Intervenors-Appellees.
No. 1 CA-CV 04-0061.
Court of Appeals of Arizona, Division One, Department C.
October 21, 2005.

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Gammage & Burnham, P.L.C., By Lisa T. Hauser, Cameron C. Artigue, Leonard W. Aragon, Phoenix, for Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and Commissioners.

Haralson Miller Pitt Feldman & McAnally, PLC, By Jose de Jesus Rivera, Peter T. Limperis, Jane E. Reidel, Amy Hernandez, Phoenix, for Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and Commissioners.

Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., By Mark C. Dangerfield, Phoenix, for Arizonans for Fair & Legal Redistricting.

Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, By Michael A. Carvin, Admitted pro hac vice, Washington, DC, for Arizonans for Fair & Legal Redistricting.

Perkins Coie Brown & Bain, By Paul F. Eckstein, Michael S. Mandell, Suzanne R. Scheiner Marwil, Charles A. Blanchard, Phoenix, for Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting, et al.

Lewis and Roca, LLP, By Richard A. Halloran, Susan E. Anderson, Susan M. Freeman, Phoenix, for Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting, et al.

Law Offices of Aaron Kizer, PLC, By Aaron Kizer, Phoenix, Co-Counsel for Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting.

Sacks Tierney, By Marvin S. Cohen, Judith M. Dworkin, Patricia Ferguson-Bohnee, Scottsdale, for The Navajo Nation and Leonard Gorman.

Navajo Nation, Department of Justice, By Dana L. Bobroff, Assistant Attorney General, Window Rock, for The Navajo Nation and Leonard Gorman.

Terry Goddard, Arizona Attorney General, By Mary R. O'Grady, Solicitor General, Assistant Attorney General, Jessica Gifford Funkhouser, Assistant Attorney General, Phoenix, for Arizona Secretary of State.

Jennings Strouss & Salmon, PLC, By David B. Earl, David J. Cantelme, Phoenix, for City of Flagstaff.

Robert A. Taylor, Kingman City Attorney, Kingman, for City of Kingman.

Lake Havasu City Attorney's Office, By W. Kent Foree, Lake Havasu City, for Lake Havasu City.

Matthew J. Smith, Mohave County Attorney, By Jeffrey D. Dollins, Deputy County Attorney, Deborah L. Herbert, Deputy County Attorney, Kingman, for Mohave County.

Roush McCracken Guerrero & Miller, By Daniel R. Ortega, Jr., Phoenix, for Hopi Tribe.

AMENDED OPINION

PER CURIAM.


¶ 1 In November 2000, Arizona voters approved Proposition 106, which amended the Arizona Constitution and transferred the power to redraw lines for both legislative and congressional districts from the state legislature to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission ("Commission"). Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm'n v. Fields, 206 Ariz. 130, 134, ¶ 4, 75 P.3d 1088, 1092 (App.2003); Ariz. Const. art. 4, pt. 2, § 1. In this appeal, we must decide whether the trial court correctly ruled on constitutional challenges to districts established by the Commission for use in elections held from 2004 through 2010. For the reasons that follow, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.

BACKGROUND

¶ 2 The Commission consists of five appointed volunteers who serve concurrent ten-year terms. Ariz. Const. art. 4, pt. 2, §§ 1(3), (23). Commission members represent both major political parties; however, the chairperson must not be a registered member of either party. Ariz. Const. art. 4, pt. 2, § 1.1

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¶ 3 Pursuant to the redistricting provisions created by the passage of Proposition 106, the redistricting process begins with the creation of districts with equal population in a grid-like pattern across the state. Thereafter, the Commission is required to make adjustments to the grid, "as necessary," to accommodate various goals, including compliance with the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973c (1994) ("VRA") and respecting geographic, community, and competitive interests. Ariz. Const. art. 4, pt. 2, § 1(14).2

¶ 4 The Commission must exclude party registration and voting history data from the initial phase of the mapping process but may use such information to test maps for compliance with the above-listed goals. Id. at § 1(15). "The places of residence of incumbents or candidates shall not be identified or considered." Id. Additionally, the Commission is required to advertise a draft map for comment by the public and for recommendations by the legislature. Id. at § 1(16). The recommendations "shall be considered" in establishing the final boundaries. Id.

¶ 5 The Commission hired National Demographics Corporation ("NDC") to consult on the commencement of the mapping process. Thereafter, on June 7, 2001, the Commission adopted its grid map, based solely on formulating districts of equal population, and then held the first round of hearings for the public to review and comment on the grid. The Commission next considered the other criteria required by Article 4, Part 2, Section 1(14) of the constitution in order to modify the grid map and create a draft map, which the Commission adopted on August 17.3 The Commission then presented its draft map and invited comments during a second round of public hearings.

¶ 6 On November 9, the Commission certified the 2001 legislative and congressional plans to the Arizona secretary of state, who certified the plans for the 2002 elections. In compliance with Section 5 of the VRA,4 the plans were then submitted to the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") for preclearance.5

¶ 7 On March 6, 2002, the Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting, several

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state legislators, and others (collectively, the "Coalition") filed suit in superior court against the Commission challenging the legislative plan. The Coalition asserted that the Commission had failed to comply with Article 4, Part 2, Section 1(14)(F) by foregoing the creation of competitive districts when "it was possible to do so." The complaint alleged that, in violation of the voters' mandate, the Commission's proposed map would result in fewer, rather than more, competitive legislative districts. The Coalition contended that its own alternative plan accomplished all of the Section 1(14) goals better than the Commission's plan. The Coalition sought a writ of mandamus and declaratory or injunctive relief.

¶ 8 On March 14, 2002, a separate action challenging the congressional plan was filed, alleging the Commission violated Article 4, Part 2, Section 1(14), Article 2, Sections 4 and 13, and Article 20, Section 7, by adopting a plan that discriminated on the basis of race. The superior court consolidated the cases on March 19, 2002. Arizonans for Fair and Legal Redistricting ("AFLR"),6 Mohave County, the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe and the cities of Lake Havasu, Flagstaff, and Kingman intervened to protect their respective interests.

¶ 9 During the course of the litigation, the Navajo Nation and the Commission stipulated to a statement of facts and filed cross-motions for summary judgment concerning the former's challenge to the congressional plan.7 Specifically, the Navajo Nation contested the plan because it removed the Hopi Tribe, which is completely surrounded by the Navajo Nation, from congressional district 1, the district in which the Navajo Nation was placed, and put the Hopi Tribe in adjoining district 2. The Commission achieved this by using a narrow, 103-mile serpentine corridor that partially follows the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to connect the Hopi Tribe with the rest of district 2.8 Forty-two Navajo citizens reside within that corridor and were therefore separated from district 1. The Navajo Nation alleged that the Commission violated Article 4, Part 2, Section 1(14) by carving out a community residing within district 1 to place it within district 2. The trial court granted the Commission's motion and denied the Navajo Nation's motion, ruling that the constitution allows the Commission flexibility in applying the enumerated criteria as long as its decisions have a basis. The Navajo Nation appeals this ruling.

¶ 10 Following the completion of discovery, a trial to the court took place in late 2003 concerning the challenges to the legislative plan, and the court issued a ruling...

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25 practice notes
  • Harris v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm'n, No. CV–12–894–PHX–ROS–NVW–RRC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • April 29, 2014
    ...it is the Secretary of State who enforces the map. See Ariz. Minority Coal. for Fair Redistricting v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm'n, 211 Ariz. 337, 121 P.3d 843, 857 (Ariz.Ct.App.2005) (per curiam) (“Once the Commission certifies the maps, the secretary of state must use them in conduct......
  • Sun City Home Owners Ass'n v. Ariz. Corp. Comm'n, No. 1 CA-CC 17-0002
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • January 23, 2020
    ...classes" passes constitutional muster. See, e.g. , Ariz. Minority Coal. for Fair Redistricting v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm’n , 211 Ariz. 337, 345, ¶ 18, 121 P.3d 843, 851 (App. 2005) (quoting Green v. City of Tucson , 340 F.3d 891, 896 (9th Cir. 2003) ). This analysis is premised upo......
  • Ariz. State Legislature v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm'n, No. 13–1314.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 29, 2015
    ...no other. See Art. IV, pt. 2, § 1 (17); Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm'n, 211 Ariz. 337, 351, 121 P.3d 843, 857 (App.2005) (per curiam ) ("Once the Commission certifies [its] maps, the secretary of state must use them in conductin......
  • Ariz. State Legislature v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm'n, No. 13–1314.
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • June 29, 2015
    ...and no other. See Art. IV, pt. 2, § 1(17); Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm'n, 211 Ariz. 337, 351, 121 P.3d 843, 857 (App.2005) (per curiam ) (“Once the Commission certifies [its] maps, the secretary of state must use them in conduc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Harris v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm'n, No. CV–12–894–PHX–ROS–NVW–RRC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • April 29, 2014
    ...it is the Secretary of State who enforces the map. See Ariz. Minority Coal. for Fair Redistricting v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm'n, 211 Ariz. 337, 121 P.3d 843, 857 (Ariz.Ct.App.2005) (per curiam) (“Once the Commission certifies the maps, the secretary of state must use them in conduct......
  • Sun City Home Owners Ass'n v. Ariz. Corp. Comm'n, No. 1 CA-CC 17-0002
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • January 23, 2020
    ...classes" passes constitutional muster. See, e.g. , Ariz. Minority Coal. for Fair Redistricting v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm’n , 211 Ariz. 337, 345, ¶ 18, 121 P.3d 843, 851 (App. 2005) (quoting Green v. City of Tucson , 340 F.3d 891, 896 (9th Cir. 2003) ). This analysis is premised upo......
  • Ariz. State Legislature v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm'n, No. 13–1314.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 29, 2015
    ...no other. See Art. IV, pt. 2, § 1 (17); Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm'n, 211 Ariz. 337, 351, 121 P.3d 843, 857 (App.2005) (per curiam ) ("Once the Commission certifies [its] maps, the secretary of state must use them in conductin......
  • Ariz. State Legislature v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm'n, No. 13–1314.
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • June 29, 2015
    ...and no other. See Art. IV, pt. 2, § 1(17); Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm'n, 211 Ariz. 337, 351, 121 P.3d 843, 857 (App.2005) (per curiam ) (“Once the Commission certifies [its] maps, the secretary of state must use them in conduc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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