Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Redistricting -- litigation update

It may seem mundane at this point, and easy to lose track of the latest developments in the ongoing litigation -- with cases in both federal and Maricopa County Superior Court -- regarding aspects of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, questions of the legality of its very existence, and the Congressional and legislative district maps adopted this year.

However, the lawsuits are moving, albeit slowly at this point. Last Friday, attorneys Lisa Hauser and Michael Liburdi requested Judge Mark Brain (state court) allow them to submit filings more verbose than limits they had agreed to and therefore Brain had ordered. They apparently thought they could make their case in twenty pages or less. They've tried and tried and tried, but cannot address the issues raised in less than twenty-four pages. Poor babies. Apparently, Judge Brain allowed them to exceed the limit.

On Monday, Hauser and Liburdi filed their response to the AIRC motion to dismiss the first amended complaint. The document is actually 59 pages long. I have not been able to take the time to review the document prior to posting this, but you are welcome to read it yourself (link provided in this paragraph).

Additionally, last Friday, Judge Roslyn Silver, chief United States District Judge ordered changes to due dates for pleadings in the case seeking to completely obliterate the AIRC.

Lastly, on Monday, AIRC counsel filed a reply in support of its motion for reconsideration of having the federal court case heard before a three judge panel. Apparently, when a lawsuit challenging the apportionment and/or redistricting lines is filed, a three-judge panel is required. The AIRC position is that the lawsuit challenges the existence of the commission, not the particular lines that were drawn. Therefore, they say, a three-judge panel is not required and therefore should not be used to try this case.

I hope to take some time in the next few days to review the Hauser/Liburdi (Hail Mary pass) pleading hoping to keep their (state court) lawsuit alive. But I have a couple of things that I must take care of first.

In the meantime, do not forget that the AIRC will meet at 1:30pm on Friday, August 3 at the commission office. At this point, they are not sure whether they will be able to stream the meeting live online. I'll try to update this post tomorrow with a more definite answer to that question.

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