Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, November 7, 2011

Redistricting -- Arizona Supreme Court says

The Arizona Supreme Court this morning held a teleconference with attorneys regarding the Amended Petition for Special Action filed on Friday by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

From Jennifer Liewer, chief communications officer for the Arizona Supreme Court:
The attached documents were filed this weekend regarding the Independent Redistricting Commission. [linked in text below]
 An order is forthcoming that reflects the briefing schedule for the special action as discussed in today’ telephonic conference.
 As outlined in the order I sent out on Friday, Responses to the Motion to Stay Removal are due by 5 pm today and a reply to that response is due by noon tomorrow. The Court granted the Motion for Expedited Review, so they should have a decision about the Motion to Stay Removal tomorrow afternoon. I will send that out once it has been filed.

 Summary of Critical Dates:
 Monday, 11/7 at 5 pm – Responses due for Motion to Stay Removal and Motion to Intervene 
Tuesday, 11/8 at Noon – Reply to responses for Motion to Stay Removal and Motion to Intervene
Tuesday, 11/8 in the afternoon – Court will consider Motion to Stay Removal (no hearing) and a decision expected in Motion to Stay Removal.
 Friday, 11/11 at 5 pm – Responses to petition for special action and any amicus briefs due
 Monday, 11/14 at 5 pm – Reply to responses to petition for special action and amicus briefs
 Thursday, 11/17 at 2 pm – Potential Oral Arguments on merits of petition for special action (25 mins per side.)


AIRC CHAIR Colleen Mathis filed a motion to intervene this morning (represented by former Arizona Chief Justice Thomas Zlaket). The 24-page document indicates Mathis has a right to defend her position on the AIRC.

AIRC Commissioners McNulty and Herrera also filed a motion to intervene (represented respectively by Andrew Gordon and Tim Nelson). Their 9-page motion indicates those two commissioners continue to be the target of the same action by the governor.

McNulty and Herrera additionally filed a Memo in Support of Mathis. It concludes:
Of course, this is not really about the openness of AIRC meetings. The judiciary can appropriately deal with that. It is about whether the Governor and her partisan legislative supporters can regain control over the redistricting process. 
Only this Court can save the independence and impartiality of the AIRC.
From reading documents filed in this case thus far, the governor (in writing) and House Approprs Chair John Kavanagh (on television and at the Scottsdale AIRC hearing) have consistently -- with tremendous indignation --  contended that the action taken to remove Mathis was done because there were and are significant legal issues arising to the level of gross misconduct on the part of the AIRC. Even if and when the legislature acts in a quasi-judicial manner (as in impeachment of a governor), it must be done such that there is due process and adequate findings of fact and of law. NONE of that took place in this situation.

The actual LEGAL filings in this case have made what looks to this NON-legal analyst like an extremely solid case for nullifying the unconstitutional action taken by Republicans last week.

We will find out tomorrow if the removal will be stayed pending the outcome of the special action. This afternoon, however, the Appellate Courts Commission on Appointments meets at 1pm:

At the meeting, there will be public comment and the Commission will discuss and decide the next steps for providing the IRC with three nominee for the Chairperson position by Dec. 1 (the 30-day deadline.) 

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