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Supreme Court takes up new Arizona redistricting challenge

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to take up a fresh challenge to a commission in Arizona that draws legislative districts just a day after ruling on a related case.

The new case, brought by a group of voters, questions some of the decisions made by the commission, including the consideration of minorities in drawing state legislative boundaries.

The court's 5-4 ruling on Monday rejected a constitutional challenge to the commission's role in drawing congressional districts.

In that decision, the court found that the ballot initiative tha6t set up the commission did not violate the U.S. Constitution's requirement that state legislatures set congressional district boundaries.

The new case focuses on state districts drawn for the 2012 election based on 2010 census numbers. The challengers say the new districts favored Democrats over Republicans by overpopulating Republican-leaning districts. They say the commission violated the U.S. Constitution's principle of "one person, one vote."

A federal court in Arizona upheld the districts in a 2014 ruling, saying the commission had made a "good faith attempt" to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters.

In addition to the new Arizona case, the court has already agreed to hear a similar case concerning redistricting in Texas.

The court will hear oral arguments and decide both cases in its next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2016.

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The case is Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-232.

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