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Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Indep. Redistricting Comm'n

United States District Court, D. Arizona

February 21, 2014

Arizona State Legislature, Plaintiff,
v.
Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, et al., Defendants

For Arizona State Legislature, Plaintiff: Gregory G Jernigan, LEAD ATTORNEY, Arizona State Senate, Phoenix, AZ; Joshua William Carden, LEAD ATTORNEY, Davis Miles McGuire Gardner PLLC, Tempe, AZ; Pele Kay Peacock, LEAD ATTORNEY, Arizona Legislature, Phoenix, AZ; Peter Andrew Gentala, LEAD ATTORNEY, Arizona House of Representatives, Phoenix, AZ.

For Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Colleen Mathis, in her official capacity, Linda C McNulty, in her official capacity, Jose M Herrera, in his official capacity, Scott D Freeman, in his official capacity, Richard Stertz, in his official capacity, Defendants: Brunn Wall Roysden, III, Joseph Andrew Kanefield, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Ballard Spahr LLP, Phoenix, AZ; Kristin Louise Windtberg, Mary Ruth OGrady, Joseph Nathaniel Roth, Osborn Maledon PA, Phoenix, AZ.

For Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary of State, in his official capacity, Defendant: Michele Lee Forney, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the Attorney General, Phoenix, AZ.

For Dennis Burke, Arizona Advocacy Network, League of Women Voters of Arizona, Bart Turner, Amicus: Joy E Herr-Cardillo, Timothy Michael Hogan, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest - Tucson, AZ, Tucson, AZ.

For Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Incorporated, Amicus: Joe P Sparks, LEAD ATTORNEY, Sparks Tehan & Ryley PC, Scottsdale, AZ; Joy E Herr-Cardillo, Timothy Michael Hogan, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest - Tucson, AZ, Tucson, AZ.

G. Murray Snow, United States District Judge. Paul G. Rosenblatt, United States District Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

OPINION

Page 1048

ORDER

G. Murray Snow, United States District Judge.

This three-judge statutory court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2284(a). Pending before it are Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim (Doc. 16), Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 33), and Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction for Lack of Standing (Doc. 43). For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction is denied, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim is granted, and Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction is denied as moot.

BACKGROUND

From the first year of its statehood in 1912 until 2000, the Arizona State Legislature (" Legislature" ) was granted the authority by the Arizona Constitution to draw congressional districts, subject to the possibility of gubernatorial veto. In 2000, Arizona voters, through the initiative power, amended the state Constitution by passing Proposition 106. Proposition 106 removed congressional redistricting authority from the Legislature and vested that authority in a new entity, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (" IRC" ). Ariz. Const. art. IV, pt. 2, § 1.

Page 1049

Proposition 106 prescribes the process by which IRC members are appointed and the procedures the IRC must follow in establishing legislative and congressional districts. Once this process is complete, the IRC establishes final district boundaries and certifies the new districts to the Secretary of State. Id. at ¶ ¶ 16-17.

Under the IRC redistricting process, the legislative leadership may select four of the five IRC members from candidates nominated by the State's commission on appellate court appointments. The highest ranking officer and minority leader of each house of the legislature each select one member of the IRC from that list. Id. at ¶ ¶ 4-7. The fifth member, who is the chairperson, is chosen by the four previously selected members from the list of nominated candidates. The governor, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the senate, may remove an IRC member for substantial neglect of duty or other cause. Id. at ¶ 10. The IRC is required to allow a period for public comment after it advertises a draft of its proposed congressional map during which it must review any comments received from either or both bodies of the Legislature. Id. at ¶ 16.

On January 17, 2012, the IRC approved a final congressional map to be used in all congressional elections until a new IRC is selected in 2021 and completes the redistricting process for the next decade. Ariz. Const. art. IV, pt. 2, § 1 ¶ ¶ 5, 17.

On June 6, 2012, the Legislature filed the present suit against the IRC, its current members, and the Arizona Secretary of State. (Doc. 1.) In its First Amended Complaint, the Legislature seeks a judgment declaring that Proposition 106 violates the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution by removing congressional redistricting authority from the Legislature and that, as a result, the congressional maps adopted by the IRC are unconstitutional and void. (Doc. 12 at 9.) The Legislature also asks the Court to permanently enjoin Defendants from adopting, implementing, or enforcing any congressional map created by the IRC, beginning the day after the 2012 congressional elections. ( Id. ) Defendants move to dismiss on the grounds that Plaintiff fails to state a claim (Doc. 16) and lacks standing to bring this action (Doc. 43). Plaintiff moves for a preliminary injunction. (Doc. 33.) The Court held a consolidated hearing before a three-judge panel on these motions on January 24, 2014.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

Rule 12(b)(6) is designed to " test[] the legal sufficiency of a claim." Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). While " a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations . . . it must plead 'enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Clemens v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 534 F.3d 1017, 1022 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). " However, conclusory allegations of law and unwarranted inferences are not sufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss." Pareto v. FDIC, 139 F.3d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1998). Here, none of the essential facts of Plaintiff's claim are subject to dispute. The ...


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