The hottest political story of the last few weeks has been the machinations surrounding the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments' selection of the candidates for the Independent Redistricting Commission. Commission member Louis Araneta spoke against one of the applicants based on the applicant's religious views. Araneta resigned in the wake of the firestorm while the papers all dutifully reported that the even though Araneta was a Democrat, he was a Brewer appointee.
Meanwhile, Republicans are claiming that the Appellate Court Appointment Commission provided a list that was intended to hamstring Republicans. Democrats responded that Brewer didn't just pick Araneta, she actually picked most of the Appellate Court Commission's members. And besides, the Dems argue that Republicans simply got out foxed...Dems recruited better candidates.
Republicans say that it's not the candidates, it's the process. The Commission chose the Democrats and Independents first, so there wasn't room for any give and take among the sellection Committee. Now the Commission is going to meet next week...presumably to come up with a more balanced list.
Whew. Now that you are up to speed on the process can I point one thing out?
The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments is the "independent" group whose main job it is to recommend new judges in a neutral non-biased, non-political way...that Commission...is 100% political.
You may argue that Republicans dropped the ball; you may argue that Brewer got all the picks; you may argue that the process was fair, or that it was rigged but you can not argue that this group is not political.
Those of us who watch the Judicial selection process closely understand that the process is steeped in politics. But this is the first time that the process has been exposed as obviously and openly political--that's because the group is more discreet when they pick the judges. That doesn't mean they are less political, it just means that they are less obvious.
So the next time that some "government reform advocate" gives another nauseating speech about how the "merit" system has taken the politics out of the Judicial selection process, point to the events of the last month and tell them how judges are REALLY selected.