Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Friday, November 4, 2011

Redistricting -- Supplemental briefs for Supreme Court -- UPDATED 5:45pm

Today, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission today filed supplemental documents seeking to overturn the illegal action taken by Gov. Brewer and the state senate to oust Independent chair Colleen Mathis.

However, because the computer system at Osborne Maledon (Mary's law firm) crashed, and because filings are normally done electronically, this time they had to file the documents manually. I expect to receive (and post) those documents sometime this afternoon. O'Grady was also waiting to hear from the Supreme Court with scheduling information for, at minimum, a teleconference on the case.

Mathis' counsel, former US Attorney Paul Charlton, told the Arizona Eagletarian a few moments ago that he will file additional briefs in the matter because it is clear that the action taken by the governor and the senate did not meet requirements of the Arizona Constitution for removal. I expect to receive copies of those documents later today directly from the Supreme Court's chief communications officer. Tucson Weekly's Jim Nintzel provided more detail on Charlton's argument.

AIRC executive director Bladine also said today he was told by the state financial controller, that the Arizona Department of Administration does not intend to pay Charlton to represent Mathis. Bladine said his understanding is that until a court rules otherwise, Charlton should be paid and the AIRC will continue to process his invoices for payment.

Since ADOA is an executive branch agency, however, it takes direction from the governor. So, she is trying to tighten the screws on the AIRC and Mathis.  So much for the INDEPENDENT aspect of the AIRC that voters mandated eleven years ago.

The Arizona Capitol Times reported this afternoon that the redistricting process may "grind to a halt" for up to a month and a half while the Appellate Courts Commission on Appointments and (the State Supreme) courts try to figure out what to do about the lack of a chairperson on the AIRC.

When I get more info on any of these issues, I will update you.

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UPDATE

The AIRC filed the following documents this afternoon in Arizona Supreme Court

amended petition for special action

Motion for expedited consideration

Motion to Stay Removal Order

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UPDATE

Today's Arizona Capitol Times story (noted above) contains several intriguing points.

Lisa Hauser now represents the governor in this matter. Hauser served as legal counsel for the first AIRC. She tried to get hired again by the AIRC this year but was rebuffed. In her interview last spring, she spelled out her legal advice on MINIMIZING competitive districts this year. That, in itself is incredibly insidious. But now she says the courts have to defer to the governor and the state senate on the definitions of "gross misconduct" and "neglect of duty."

Others have reported this week that members of the senate get to define "gross misconduct." I think it was Andy Biggshot who said it. That statement practically defines arbitrary and capricious. From the Capitol Times story:

Lisa Hauser, an attorney representing the Governor’s Office, said the Arizona Constitution clearly leaves that determination to the governor and Senate.
“In our opinion, it’s a determination that the court really can’t interfere with,” Hauser said. “I think it’s pretty safe to say the governor and the Senate’s determination, in our view it’s not going to be undone or overturned.”
It may be encouraging to note that Hauser has taken on other losing causes this year since Joe Kanefield beat her out to become the AIRC Republican legal counsel. Hauser tried and failed to get the Russell Pearce recall election cancelled by suing to challenge the petitions used to qualify to recall.

UPDATE (5:45pm MST)

The Arizona Supreme Court entered an order today for a Monday teleconference for scheduling further proceedings in this case, now officially known as CV-11-0313-SA-ASC.


The Court has received an Amended Petition for Special Action
and appendix, Petitioner’s Motion to Stay Removal Order, and
Petitioner’s Motion for Expedited Consideration in this matter.

IT IS ORDERED that Petitioner shall arrange for a telephonic
conference call involving all parties to occur on Monday, November 7,
2011 at 10:00 a.m. with Justice Bales. The sole purpose of the
conference call will be to schedule responsive briefing and possible
oral argument on the matters before the Court. The Court will enter
a scheduling order promptly after the conference call.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that filing shall be through AZTurboCourt.
Service upon the other parties shall be electronic, with a courtesy
copy to court staff.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that any responses to the Motion to Stay
Removal Order shall be filed by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 7,
2011. Any reply to these responses shall be filed by noon on
Tuesday, November 8, 2011. Any responses to the Motion to Stay
Removal Order and any reply shall not address the merits of the
Amended Petition for Special Action, but shall be limited to the
issue of whether a stay is warranted in light of the scheduling
order.

Arizona Supreme Court
No. CV-11-0313-SA, page 2 of 2
DATED this ____________ day of November, 2011.
____________________

Andrew D. Hurwitz

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