Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is among several people defending the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission in a lawsuit headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A range of groups have filed 14 briefs supporting the commission, arguing independent commissions like Arizona's are essential to combating gerrymandering across the country and are allowed by the U.S. Constitution. State lawmakers want to stop the commission from drawing congressional districts, which are changed every 10 years following the Census. Lawmakers say the Constitution grants that authority exclusively to the Legislature.

Governor Schwarzenegger's brief argues the lawsuit endangers the work he and other California governors have done to reform a process that has "long been plagued by abuses."

"As in Arizona, the people of California recently amended their state Constitution to establish an independent commission to draw congressional districts ... to fairly represent the people of California, rather than protect incumbent politicians or a particular political party," the brief states.

Joseph A. Kanefield, a Ballard Spahr attorney who is representing the commission, said the number briefs won’t necessarily influence court’s decision.

"The court is going to decide the case on the merits and not the number of amicus briefs filed on either side," Kanefield said, "but they do show tremendous support for the commission's position."

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