The U.S. Supreme Court could rule as soon as Thursday on whether independent redistricting commissions are unconstitutional, possibly striking down several states' congressional maps and ordering new ones to be drawn. Arizona's Republican-controlled legislature, which brought the lawsuit in the first place, offers a clear example of how partisans could re-gerrymander some congressional maps in the wake of the Court's decision.
An alternative congressional map drawn in 2012 by then-state House Speaker Andy Tobin, shared with National Journal by the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, offers an example of the kind of map Arizona Republicans could pass. Compared to the current map, Tobin's alternative eliminates one swing district, currently held by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, and turns it into safe Republican territory. In total, it gives Republicans five safe districts rather than the four they have currently.
As it stands now, Republicans have a negligible 2.8-percentage-point voter registration advantage in Sinema's swing district based in the eastern suburbs of Phoenix. In Tobin's map, they would have a virtually insurmountable 21.3-point advantage, while also maintaining leads in all districts currently held by Republicans.