Wednesday, January 19, 2011

AZ Supreme Court issues ruling in Pearce/Adams' redistricting case

In an order dated today and signed by Vice Chief Justice Andrew Hurwitz, partial relief is granted as follows:

Having reviewed the briefs submitted by the parties and amici and the applicable law and having heard oral argument in this matter, the Court accepts jurisdiction of the petition for special action.

IT IS ORDERED granting relief in part, as to nominees Mark Schnepf and Stephen Sossaman, who are ineligible to serve on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (Redistricting Commission) because their positions as directors of irrigation districts are "other public office[s]" under Arizona Constitution article 4, part 2, section 1(3). The issues Petitioners raise concerning Schnepf's and Sossaman's unwillingness to serve and the effect of any application withdrawals are therefore moot and will not be decided by this Court.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondents shall promptly identify two eligible individuals from the other Republican candidates to replace nominees Schnepf and Sossaman and thereby allow appointment of the initial member of the Redistricting Commission by Speaker Adams on or before January 31, 2011.

The Court concludes Petitioners have not established that nominee Paul Bender is disqualified from or ineligible for appointment to the Redistricting Commission based on his service as an appointed tribal court judge. Therefore, IT IS FURTHER ORDERED denying relief as to the claims challenging nominee Bender's eligibility. An opinion of this Court will follow in due course.

So, I expect later today to find out when the screening panel will meet to comply with this order.  I will post that time as soon as I am able.

It's notable (and ironic) that Pearce and Adams get the desired relief regarding the two people they like and would consider appointing but the real target of their angst, Paul Bender is affirmed as eligible.

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