Can we finally stop hearing from Tucson’s Whiny Ass Titty-Baby Tea-Publicans how the City of Tucson’s city council election system is unconstitutional?
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition for review from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the City of Tucson’s city council election system. End of the road, whiners.
Howard Fisher reports, US Supreme Court affirms Tucson’s method of electing council members:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed a bid by a group representing some Republicans to void the system of nominating council members by ward but having them elected at-large. The justices gave no reason for their ruling.
Monday’s action is the last word in the multi-year bid by the Public Integrity Alliance to have state and federal courts declare that the practice was an unconstitutional violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Attorney Kory Langhofer, who represented the challengers, argued that the system gave some voters more power than others and, in some cases, effectively nullified their votes.
But that contention was most recently rejected by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Tucson’s hybrid system for electing members of its city council imposes no constitutionally significant burden on voters rights to vote,” the appellate court concluded. “And Tucson has advanced a valid, sufficiently important interest to justify its choice of electoral system.”
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Constitution, Courts, Election Integrity, Elections, GOP War On..., Legislation, Party Politics, Primaries, Tucson
Tagged voting rights, Voting Rights Act of 1965
On Friday, a three judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, once again, ruled that a handful of Texas congressional districts drawn by the Republican-dominated state Legislature in 2011 discriminated against black and Hispanic voters and violated the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution. Texas Congressional Maps Are Struck Down for Discrimination:
It is the latest development in a long-running and racially charged redistricting case that locked Democratic lawmakers, minority groups, the Obama administration and the Texas Republican leadership in a legal battle for nearly six years. Democrats and civil-rights lawyers accused the majority-white Texas Republican leadership of drawing district maps in ways that diluted the voting power of Democratic-leaning minority voters, accusations that Republicans denied.
“The court’s decision (and findings of fact and conclusions of law) exposes the Texas Legislature’s illegal effort to dilute the vote of Texas Latinos,” said Nina Perales, the vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which represented a coalition of Latino organizations that sued Texas over the redistricting maps. “Moving forward, the ruling will help protect Latinos from manipulation of district lines in order to reduce their political clout.”
The next steps in the case were unclear. Texas is likely to appeal the decision, and because of the legal dynamics, any appeal would go directly to the Supreme Court. The process of redrawing the maps may be delayed not only by an appeal but also because the San Antonio panel has yet to rule on another aspect of the case, the district maps drawn for the state’s House of Representatives.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Civil Rights, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Justice, Party Politics, Racism, Redistricting, Scandals
Tagged voting rights, Voting Rights Act of 1965
It looks as if our corporate overlords at the Chamber of Commerce organizations seeking to overturn the will of the voters on Prop. 206, the Minimum Wage Initiative — and by extension to eliminate your constitutional right to pass laws by citizen initiatives — had a bad day in court on Thursday.
The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, AZ Supreme Court skeptical of minimum wage challenger arguments:
Arizona’s Supreme Court justices spent time March 9 imagining a world in which the state’s voters may never get to pass laws by the ballot again.
Justices repeatedly posed that scenario to Brett Johnson, an attorney representing the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other plaintiffs in their challenge to a higher minimum wage approved overwhelmingly by voters in November.
Johnson argued that parts of Proposition 206, including new mandates for benefits such as paid sick leave, are a direct mandate for the state to spend money, which violates the Arizona Constitution’s revenue source rule. That rule is a measure adopted in 2004 that requires ballot initiatives to identify funding sources for new government spending.
Chief Justice Scott Bales opened the hearing with a question that cut to the case’s potentially dramatic implications: If even indirect expenditures are sufficient to violate the revenue source rule, is there realistically any initiative that could be proposed that wouldn’t violate the Constitution?
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Budgets, Constitution, Courts, Economics, GOP War On..., Governor, Labor, Party Politics, Propositions, Taxes
Tagged minimum wage, voting rights