TIME Supreme Court

Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Redistricting System

The 5-4 outcome preserves efforts in 13 states to limit partisan influence in redistricting

(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court on Monday upheld Arizona congressional districts drawn by an independent commission and rejected a constitutional challenge from Republican lawmakers.

The 5-4 outcome preserves efforts in 13 states to limit partisan influence in redistricting. Most notably, California uses an independent commission to draw electoral boundaries for its largest-in-the-nation congressional delegation.

The Arizona case stemmed from voter approval of an independent commission in 2000. The legislature’s Republican leaders filed their lawsuit after the commission’s U.S. House map in 2012 produced four safe districts for Republicans, two for Democrats and made the other three seats competitive. Democrats won them all in 2012, but the Republicans recaptured one last year.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court that there is “no constitutional barrier to a state’s empowerment of its people by embracing that form of lawmaking.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy and Ginsburg’s three liberal colleagues joined her opinion.

In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts accused the majority of approving a “deliberate constitutional evasion.”

States are required to re-draw maps for congressional and state legislative districts to account for population changes after the once-a-decade census.

The justices have been unwilling to limit excessive partisanship in redistricting, known as gerrymandering. A gerrymander is a district that is intentionally drawn, and sometimes oddly shaped, to favor one political party.

Republicans employed an enormously successful strategy to take advantage of the 2010 census, first by winning state legislatures and then using that control to draw House districts to maximize their power. One measure of their success: In 2012, Republicans achieved a 33-seat majority in the House, even though GOP candidates as a group got 1.4 million fewer votes than their Democratic opponents.

Independent commissions such as Arizona’s “may be the only meaningful check” left to states that want to foster more competitive elections, the Obama administration said.

The argument against independent commissions rests in the Constitution’s Election Clause, which gives state legislatures the power to set “the times, places and manners of holding elections for senators and representatives.”

Only Arizona and California essentially remove the legislature from the process, the National Conference of State Legislatures said, in support of the Republican lawmakers in Arizona.

Lawmakers’ only contribution in those states is picking commission members from a list devised by others. In the other states — Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Washington — lawmakers either get first crack at drawing districts, approve plans drawn by commissions or appoint commission members of their choosing, the conference said.

Supporters of the commissions point to more competitive races in both Arizona and California since the commissions were created.

The case is Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, 13-1314.

TIME animals

These Dogs Won Prizes for Being the Ugliest in the World

The 27th annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest takes place this weekend at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds and Event Center in Petaluma, California

TIME Behind the Photos

See the Eerie Photos Behind True Detective‘s Opening Credits

David Maisel's photographs appear in the hit HBO show

When the hit show True Detective returned on June 21, HBO viewers were served a series of eerie composite images of scorched landscapes, intertwined highways and dark figures. Within the first seconds of its opening credits, the show’s creator, Nic Pizzolatto, had set the scene for season two. It was going to be a dark and gritty and complex ride.

But for photographer David Maisel, this opening sequence offered a different set of feelings. After all, it was the result of a collaboration with the show’s producers and a production design studio in Los Angeles, which used 16 of Maisel’s photographs to create True Detective‘s credits.

“I was approached by a woman that helps HBO obtain rights to anything that they need on a number of their shows,” Maisel tells TIME. “She said that they were interested in essentially basing the title sequence on work from Black Maps.”

Black Maps, Maisel’s most recent photo book, is a collection of 25 years’ worth of aerial work. Unlike conventional natural photography, Black Maps relies on abstraction, resulting in surrealist visions of toxic lakes and maddening designs of man-altered landscapes. Some of Maisel’s most defining images were shot above Los Angeles, where the city’s many highways become “scorched black and white metaphors for the complete obliteration of a natural state,” as TIME wrote when the book first came out in 2013.

A perfect fit for a show like True Detective.

“When they contacted me, they mentioned that Richard Misrach’s images from Petrochemical America had been used last season,” says Maisel. “I watched that season and I thought that the opening sequence was so compelling and brilliantly set the tone for the show. That gave me a lot of confidence that they knew what they were doing, and I was quite interested to see what they would do with my work.”

When Maisel saw some of the first treatments, he was convinced. “I really felt that what they were capable of [creating] a kind of poetry that responded to my work, so I just gave them free range,” he says. “It was sort of a leap of faith for me, but I don’t want to control what people do.”

For Elastic, the production design studio behind the opening sequence, the goal was to bring Maisel’s work to life by combining the pictures with slow-motion elements from the show. “It’s really about trying to make it feel like you’re journeying through a photograph,” creative director Patrick Clair told Wired.

The result was gratifying, says Maisel. “What was interesting to see is that some of the images are used upside down, others have things bleeding through them. That was great, because I want my work to have a kind of metaphorical quality and Elastic was responding to that. They were using them in a kind of similar way. I thought it was really spellbinding. Here, my images were really being used as raw material for something else to be created.”

While Maisel knew what to expect when he sat down to watch the full sequence for the first time on June 21, at the same time as 3.2 million other viewers, he wasn’t prepared for the kicker. “Leonard Cohen singing along to my work, that’s just astounding,” he says.

David Maisel is a photographer living near San Francisco. He is represented by Institute.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME society

California, Where Brown and Gray America Collide

american-california-flags
Getty Images

Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

Two of the country's fastest growing populations are learning how to embrace change

It was like being in a foreign country. Having never lived anywhere but California, I arrived at Brandeis University in the 1970s to study gerontology and geriatrics. I was a grandson of migrant farm workers, a polio survivor, and one of the first Latino students from the Southwest to attend a Boston-area college.

I found myself assigned to interview retirees in New Hampshire as a part of a survey of long-term care facilities. The subjects were Anglo, God-fearing, patriotic men who found it strange for a young disabled Latino to inquire about their personal lives. I later learned that the Brandeis faculty also had qualms about sending me into this uncharted territory. However, after shooting pool with me, these elderly gentlemen invited me for a snowmobile ride (my first-ever). We were soon like good friends, and thus the surveys were completed successfully.

Looking back now, I can see this experience was a prescient microcosm of one of the greatest challenges America faces today: addressing the sometimes conflicting needs of the two fastest growing population segments in the country—the elderly and ethnic minorities. It also shows us how California can lead the way.

The U.S. is facing two key milestone years: In 2030, the last of the aging baby boomers all will have turned age 65, and in 2045, we will have become a majority-minority nation. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that in 2044, non-Hispanic whites will drop below 50 percent of the population, and Hispanics—America’s largest racial/ethnic minority—will surpass 25 percent.

These years can be benchmarks by which to measure how we respond to a changing demographic landscape. Between 2015 and 2055, the Latino population will double in size, from 56.8 million to 112.3 million. In the same time period, the number of adults over 65 will have nearly doubled (from 47.8 million to 92.5 million), creating the largest “senior citizen” group in our history. Fifty-seven percent of those individuals will be non-Hispanic white, and 21 percent will be Hispanic.

What does this mean for the future of our country? Will fear and insecurity create racial discrimination and ageism, or will we have the foresight to prepare for, invest in, and embrace this new America?

The current state of our political discourse isn’t promising. Social Security could become a defining issue in the 2016 election. Its solvency hangs over politicians and the public on both sides of the debate. Immigration reform, meanwhile, is stuck in limbo, hampered in part by an undercurrent of nativism. Are we destined to forever have these conflicts, or can we find common cause, accept the reality of the demographic changes, and use them to our advantage? I believe my personal journey, and recent California history, provide insight into the path forward.

My mother, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, raised nine children on her own in Salinas, California. We were fortunate to have the benefits of public housing, a robust social welfare safety net, and of course, a mother with strong values. As a result, all nine of her children are college graduates with professional careers. If there is a message in our personal journey, it is to recognize and accept that America is a nation of immigrants, and the true task will be to adapt to a future, which holds the promise of reconciliation rather than generational and racial conflict.

I saw first-hand how my grandmother (who came with her family to California fleeing the Mexican Revolution) and mother faced discrimination, and now that I am an “elder,” I have seen how the Mexican community here acquired political and economic influence over the past half century. Yet I also see how other parts of the country (particularly New England, the Midwest, and the South) are only now coming to terms with waves of immigrants and facing the discomfort we once had in California.

We faced immense struggles (deportations, riots) in adapting to constant demographic shifts, but over many years, Californians became accustomed to change. California, which became a majority-minority state by 1999, continues to be a harbinger for the nation. Our struggles with propositions 187 (to deny social services to undocumented immigrants) and 209 (to end affirmative action) galvanized undocumented persons to naturalize and vote, giving impetus to a powerful set of Latino and Asian elected officials. California is the world’s seventh largest economy in part because of the interconnections of its immigrant groups. The Korean, Persian, Central American, Mexican, Chinese, and Armenian diasporas in California are second in size only to their home countries. These and other factors can show the nation (and older voters) that notwithstanding unsettling demographic trends, in time, regions can and will benefit from the presence of these groups.

With time, acculturation, and intermarriages, we have reached an equilibrium where a majority of Californians today feel that immigration is good for the state. This gives me hope that, as immigrants assimilate, the rest of America can adjust and adapt to these demographic changes.

Indeed, demographics suggest that America will be forced to adapt. Anglos make up 76 percent of baby boomers, a large proportion of whom will require long-term care assistance, whether in institutional facilities or at home. A rising percentage of their caregivers (currently 27 percent) are minorities and immigrants.

And it’s not just the caregiving where these two groups will have to learn to work with each other: As these same baby boomers sell their homes, who will the buyers be? The aging Anglo population is having fewer children. But will the growing, younger minority populations have the education, jobs, and financial resources to buy those homes?

The United States is aging, but with fertility rates above replacement levels, thanks largely to Latinos and Asian-Americans, many of whom live in California. These are groups inherently loyal to the U.S. and able to acculturate thanks to a civic culture that fosters engagement in our democratic processes. In turn, Latino culture and Asian economic investments enable cities such as Los Angeles to remain viable, and the cultural infusion of foods, new ideas, popular music, and capital investments keep the our country and state vibrant.

We must recognize that all Americans have a common stake and self-interest in our mutual success. As I learned in working with New Hampshire retirees decades ago, by drawing on our personal backgrounds, understanding individual concerns, and appealing to our good sense and compassion, we can forge unlikely bonds with one another.

Now is the time to make this compelling case to the baby boomer generation. I know that my children and grandchildren will grow and age in a nation that is much different than it was in the last century. By embracing and supporting who we have been and who we are becoming, we can be confident that America will continue to prosper and be a beacon for the world.

Fernando Torres-Gil is the director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging, the principal investigator for the Ford Foundation-funded Latinos and Economic Security project, and a member of the board of the American Association of Retired Persons. He wrote this for “Reimagining California,” a partnership of the California Endowment and Zócalo Public Square.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

MONEY groceries

Whole Foods Is Accused of Overcharging Customers Again

whole-foods-overcharge-customers-new-york
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York investigators say it's the "worst case" they've ever seen.

Turns out there might be a reason Whole Foods is not America’s favorite grocery store.

New York City investigators have launched a probe of the chain after finding that local stores have regularly overcharged shoppers over the last five years, according to a report by the Daily News.

The investigation comes just a year after Whole Foods had to pay an $800,000 settlement in California because inspectors found the chain caused customers to overpay for food that was priced by weight.

In New York, consumer protection agents say they found violations that included inaccurate weight labels on pre-packaged food and adding tax to non-taxable items.

“Our inspectors told me it was the worst case of overcharges that they’ve ever seen,” New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin told the News.

A spokesman told the News the chain never intentionally mispriced items, and other industry representatives have pointed out that mislabeling is often the fault of manufacturers packaging foods—not grocers. And the News also found that mislabeling sometimes actually works in a customer’s favor.

One takeaway?

It’s a good idea to check food weights using grocery store scales, even on pre-packaged items.

It also pays to compare prices for your favorite foods at different chains: MarketWatch has found that items like hummus can be less expensive at Whole Foods, while many others like produce and cheese are cheapest at competitors like Trader Joe’s, Target, and Safeway.

Finally, if you’re a Whole Foods die-hard, shop smart; the best sales are apparently on Wednesdays.

Read More: Here’s How to Save Hundreds on Groceries

 

TIME Crime

Assault on Musicians for Wearing Skinny Jeans Is Being Treated as a Hate Crime

One band member was stabbed in his side, another had gashes to his arm

Three musicians were assaulted with knives in Sacramento on Sunday apparently because they were wearing skinny jeans in what has been classified as a hate crime.

Their attacker reportedly shouted homophobic slurs at the three band members because of what they were wearing, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Timothy Brownell, 25, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and possessing a firearm but was released on bond. A warrant for his rearrest was issued Monday.

Alex Lyman and Weston Richmond are guitarists from local band Slaves, and Blake Abbey is the lead singer of Musical Charis. The three described the attack and posted photos of their injuries to social media.

“This man literally did all this cause we wear skinny jeans … What a jerk,” Richmond, who suffered a broken arm and minor cuts, wrote on Instagram.

Photos that Abbey posted to Facebook show two long gashes in his arm held together with stitches.

“The Sacramento police department has zero tolerance for these crimes,” police said in a statement.

[L.A. Times]

TIME Diet/Nutrition

This Is the Caffeine Capital of America

Here are the places in the U.S. with the most coffee lovers

Everyone knows that America doesn’t run on patriotism and hard work—it runs on caffeine. When Starbucks baristas spell your name wrong, it’s a harbinger of bad luck for the rest of your day; if your hands and mouth don’t suffer from spilled-coffee burns on a weekly basis, you’re not doing it right.

It seems like wherever you go around the country, one thing is for certain: you’ll undoubtedly be able to get your fix and be on your way. In fact, according to the National Coffee Association’s 2013 online survey, 83% of U.S. adults drink coffee, averaging three cups a day per person.

But, of course, some cities are much more wired than others. Out of many buzzing contenders, FindTheHome collaborated with FindTheCompany, to identify the cities in California with the most coffee shops per capita. The competition was intense, but only one city was crowned the beating heart that keeps the American dream…awake.

28. Boulder, CO

Cafés per 10K people: 10.86
Population: 100,363

27. Pasadena, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 10.87
Population: 138,004

26. Bend, OR

Cafés per 10K people: 10.88
Population: 78,128

25. West Palm Beach, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 10.91
Population: 100,778

24. San Rafael, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 11
Population: 58,162

23. Jupiter, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 11.03
Population: 56,219

22. Redmond, WA

Cafés per 10K people: 11.17
Population: 55,505

21. Palo Alto, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 11.19
Population: 65,234

20. Hoboken, NJ

Cafés per 10K people: 11.19
Population: 50,929

19. Fort Lauderdale, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 11.21
Population: 168,603

18. Miami, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 11.61
Population: 407,526

17. Berkeley, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 11.75
Population: 114,037

16. Portland, OR

Cafés per 10K people: 11.80
Population: 594,687

15. Asheville, NC

Cafés per 10K people: 11.89
Population: 84,883

14. Brookline, MA

Cafés per 10K people: 11.92
Population: 58,738

13. Hialeah, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 12.45
Population: 228,943

12. Portland, ME

Cafés per 10K people: 12.53
Population: 66,227

11. Cambridge, MA

Cafés per 10K people: 12.58
Population: 105,737

10. Kendall, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 13.37
Population: 77,018

9. Santa Fe, NM

Cafés per 10K people: 13.95
Population: 68,800

8. Newport Beach, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 14.07
Population: 86,001

7. Delray Beach, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 14.22
Population: 61,875

6. San Francisco, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 14.69
Population: 817,501

5. Sarasota, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 14.83
Population: 52,588

4. Seattle, WA

Cafés per 10K people: 15.01
Population: 624,681

3. Santa Monica, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 15.87
Population: 90,752

2. Boca Raton, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 16.15
Population: 86,671

1. Miami Beach, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 21.70
Population: 89,412

This article originally appeared on FindTheBest

More from FindTheBest:

TIME Surfing

Watch 66 Surfers Break the World Record for Most People Riding a Board at Once

66 surfers, a 42-ft board, 12 seconds of wave-time and a world record in the bag

A total of 66 surfers have broken the world record for the most people riding on a surfboard at once.

Surf champions and enthusiastic amateurs were among those balancing on the custom-made 42-foot board at Huntington Beach, Calif., on Saturday, reports the BBC.

A crowd of 5,000 spectators watched the group as they rode the board for 12 seconds.

The record was previously set in Queensland, Australia, about a decade ago, when 47 surfers managed a ride of 10 seconds.

Guinness World Record adjudicator Michael Empric flew in from New York to judge the event and said a separate world record for the largest surfboard would take a few days to determine.

TIME White House

Obama Hits the Links in California Amid Drought

Barack Obama
Carolyn Kaster—AP President Barack Obama walks across the tarmac to greet people as he arrives on Air Force One at San Francisco International airport June 19, 2015.

Golf courses say they're doing their part to cut back on water consumption

President Obama will golf Saturday on a lush, green course in California, even as the state grapples with a drought of historic proportions. As in past golfing trips, this will likely raise more than a few eyebrows.

The golf industry is important to California’s economy, supporting over 128,000 jobs and accounting for $13.1 billion of economic activity, but it takes a lot of water to keep those greens and ponds looking pristine.

There are few places in the Golden State where that’s more apparent than the Coachella Valley, home of Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage; the lux oases nestled in the California desert where Obama will be staying.

Across the state, golf course consume less than 1% of the state’s water, but the 120-plus courses in Coachella Valley consume about 17 percent of the area’s water. In 2014, TIME’s Zeke Miller reported that “each of the 124 Coachella Valley courses, on average, uses nearly 1 million gallons a day due to the hot and dry climate, 3-4 times more water per day than the average American golf course.”

“The challenges that we see are really sort of symbolic of the opportunities and the challenges we have with water in California,” says Heather Cooley, the water program director at the Pacific Institute. “Golf courses are large users of water locally, but they can be doing and they should be doing their part to help California respond to the drought.”

To curb the impact of the historic drought, California Gov. Jerry Brown has called for a 25% reduction in potable water-use across the state, but due to the Coachella Valley’s high per-capita water use the area was among those urged to reduce urban water consumption by 36%. Golf courses and other entities that rely on their own ground water sources have been asked to reduce water consumption by 25%.

Heather Engel, a spokesperson for the Coachella Valley Water District said it recognizes the concern over consumption and notes that courses in the area are working to curb their environmental impact.

“Golf courses use water,” she says. “But courses in the area are doing what they can to reduce their water use.”

Eighteen courses participated in a rebate program to replace some grass with drought-friendly turf, she says, and others are allowing non-play areas go brown. Fifty-two courses in the entire valley use water other than the groundwater to keep their courses irrigated, including recycled water and water from the Colorado River.

At the Sunnylands golf course, where Obama has played in the past, officials released a fact sheet on Friday ahead of the President’s visit to highlight the steps the exclusive club has taken to cut back on water. The course has already installed a new irrigation system and replaced 60 acres of turf with drought-tolerant tall grass. And according to the fact sheet, the estate cut back on watering and seeding and plans to reduce watering by 50% on an additional 44 acres of the 200-acre course.

The White House has already sought to deflect the negative attention that the president’s rounds of Father’s Day weekend golf may attract.

En route to California, White House spokesman Eric Schultz wrote off the concern over golfing in the drought as a non-issue. The visit follows a conference call the president had with western state governors about the historic drought, during which he pledged $100 million to help fight wildfires. On Friday, the White House said Obama met with Brown to discuss federal, local, and state efforts to deal with the drought and wildfires.

“This administration’s commitment to helping those affected by the drought is second to none,” Schultz said.

TIME natural disaster

See the Biggest California Wildfire This Year

The 11,000-acre 'Lake Fire' continues to ravage the San Bernardino National Forest

A wildfire that sparked Wednesday afternoon near Big Bear Lake, Calif. had grown to 11,000 acres as of Friday morning, according to a government website.

The fire is the worst of the year, the Los Angeles Times reported. Wind and the dry undergrowth due to drought conditions in the area have contributed to the blaze’s rapid spread through sections of the San Bernardino National Forest. The fire is currently 10% contained, with fire engines, helicopters, air tankers and more than 500 respondents combating the spreading flames.

Hundreds in the area have been evacuated, but government website InciWeb stated that no structures had been destroyed as of Friday. The fire is currently spreading further inland to the south and east.

The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

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