Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Friday, November 11, 2011

Redistricting -- More friends of the Court

At 5pm this afternoon, the deadline for filing responses to the Petition for Special Action (CV-11-0313) as well as amicus briefs in the Arizona Supreme Court in support of or opposition to the special action to restore Colleen Mathis to the chairmanship of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission passed.

Brewer filed a 44-page response. She says the bottom line is that the IRC "has sustained no injury to its constitutional authority" and therefore has no standing to bring this special action. She also filed a 139-page appendix which includes meeting minutes and transcripts from IRC meetings, Mathis' application and resume, print outs of internet postings of news stories about IRC hearings (including Laurie Roberts' Arizona Republic blog post declaring that "Republicans Got Screwed",  correspondence between Ray Bladine and State Procurement Administrator Jean Clark, and apparently just about anything they could find in writing that they could spin as Mathis being an evildoer, with her response.

Russell Pearce and the state senate filed a 49-page response which focuses on comparing this situation with the impeachment of Evan Mecham in the 1980s. However, substantive differences are quickly evident between the two. Impeachment and removal of a governor is something that was built into the original Arizona Constitution. This brief ignores the dramatic contrast between Mecham and the voter intent in removing redistricting from the political branches. In an Orwellian twist, the two (Brewer and the senate) responses declare that for the Court to restore Mathis would be a violation of separation of powers.

As I posted last night, when courts review actions or clarify the meaning of any legislation,
they must adopt an interpretation that avoids an absurd result the Legislature did not intend. (Bruce v. Gregory (1967) 65 Cal.2d 666, 673.)
Thus, it appears that both the governor and the senate want the court to completely ignore the legislative intent/will of the voter in this situation.

bipartisan group including Republican former state lawmakers Susan Gerard and Roberta Voss, Democrat Lucia Howard, Independent former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson and Common Cause filed one amicus brief, supporting the AIRC and the Special Action.

The Speaker of the Arizona House together with Mayors of the cities of Yuma, Prescott and Williams filed another amicus brief, opposing the AIRC and the Special Action.

The Navajo Nation and the Arizona League of Women Voters also each filed amicus briefs in support of the AIRC, Mathis and the Special Action.

There's plenty to read, if you are so inclined, in the briefs themselves.

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