Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Redistricting -- Trial preview

At 8:30 am, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission's trial will begin.

As I have indicated previously, I intend to attend the first day of the trial (Monday) and to live tweet for as long as the battery on my phone holds out.

At this time, I understand that over the course of the (expected) six day bench trial (no jury), each of the five commissioners will be called to testify.

An addition has been made to the legal team representing the AIRC. I expect former Maricopa County Superior Court Presiding Judge Colin Campbell, a partner in the law firm Osborne Maledon, to present the opening argument for the AIRC.

The outcome of this trial will boil down to whether David Cantelme is able to convince the three-judge federal court panel that there was an unlawful conspiracy to violate the Constitutional rights of Republican voters during the development of the legislative district maps approved by the AIRC more than a year ago.

Of course, I'm not an attorney (though someday I might become one) but besides the fact that the law is on the side of the IRC, conceptually it is up to the plaintiffs in the case (represented principally by Cantelme) to rebut the presumption that the variances in registered voters in the districts -- at the time of approval, certain Republican leaning districts had more voters than districts constructed to comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Because those variances did not exceed ten percent, the legal presumption is that there was no violation of the principle of One Man (person, or voter)/One Vote.

The exquisite irony of the situation is in the fact that it was -- in fact -- David Cantelme who vociferously advocated (both on-the-record during testimony before the AIRC) and other times for zealously protecting the voting rights of ethnic and language minority voters. He goaded the AIRC to do the very thing he has succeeded in getting people to pay him to sue the commission for doing. From my post on July 26, 2011:
After expressing his outrage that I swore at him by calling his client unFair Trust, he began an aggressive verbal attack aiming to get me to engage on his terms. He repeated his attack, rapid fire, for what seemed like a couple of dozen times. I never took the bait. But I did repeat, as many times as he attacked, that I refused to engage on his terms and would not take his bait.
What was he trying to get me to do or say?
He asked repeatedly if I was against allowing Latino voters to be protected by the Voting Rights Act. When I refused to answer his question he alternately said it was because: I was afraid; or I did not want Latinos to be protected by the Voting Rights Act.
If that wasn't all about goading... anyway, now finally comes the AIRC's day in court.




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