In another split decision this week, the Supreme Court upheld with a 5-4 vote an Arizona referendum that established a bipartisan election commission.
The Arizona legislature sued for invalidation of the commission which was created specifically for the task of drawing the state’s congressional districts in a manner that is more fair and could not be considered gerrymandering.
At issue was whether the Constitution’s specific use of the word “legislature” in the authority it delegates to the states to regulate the nature of congressional districts.
Chief Justice John Roberts was joined by his conservative colleagues in a scathing dissent that criticized the redefinition of the single word, what Justice Scalia characterized as “so outrageously wrong, so utterly devoid of textual or historic support.”
Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation argued along similar lines that the Constitution’s “language couldn’t be clearer, since it very directly and very specifically gives authority over redistricting.” Apparently, “legislature” doesn’t mean “legislature.”
Of course, Supreme Court majorities — Chief Justice Roberts included — have been using that kind of logic a lot lately…