Legal efforts by Republican leaders in the Arizona Legislature to regain the power to draw congressional district lines are destined to fail, Ballard Spahr partner Joseph A. Kanefield says.

Arizona voters decided in 2000 to turn over the power to draw district lines and legislative boundaries to a five-member Independent Redistricting Commission. But Republican lawmakers argued in a federal court filing that the U.S. Constitution gives the legislature the authority to decide the “times, places and manner’’ of congressional elections.

Mr. Kanefield, who serves as an attorney for the redistricting commission, acknowledged the constitutional language but said lawmakers are missing the point. “The (U.S.) Supreme Court has made clear that the term refers to the entire lawmaking process of the state, and not just the state’s legislative body,’’ Mr. Kanefield wrote in his own legal filings. He said the voters, as the ultimate source of authority in Arizona, are free to delegate the legislative duties of redistricting to the commission.

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