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From what I've been told, Greg is right - the Court didn’t invalidate the Senate’s action, per se. It decided that the Gov’s letter requesting the Senate remove Mathis didn’t adequately spell out which specific actions of Mathis the Gov considered “gross misconduct” as required by the Constitution. (Note: the letter WAS pretty weak and the Gov was warned of this very possibility.) Now, Mathis has called a meeting for next monday to finalize the maps. Theoretically, the Gov. Could write a stronger, more specific letter so that the removal can be done “right.” [Insert "Animal House" quote here.] http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=V8lT1o0sDwI

Stay tuned…

So who is ineffectual ... the individual that couldn't write the letter properly, the staff that (should've) reviewed the letter or the Governor that (actually) signed the letter?

Please, somebody, has to be responsible ...

I don't attack the Governor on many occasions, but, please! this isn't a letter written to congratulate a citizen on doing a good turn, or a proclamation to honor so-and-so for longevity in something.

This is a letter written to a government 'official' to have them removed from office. Knowing full well that it was going to stir up a hornets nest, probably ending up in Court ... SOMEBODY should've spent some time verifying that it was written properly.

Greg, you could've written a better letter ... why can't the paid government employees do a better job?

This is inexcusable, period.

Were I the letter writer, I'd argue the initiative is unconstitutional because it strips legislative powers out of that branch and the executive as well. Yeah, I know it's a little late to be arguing that, and that the constitution has an amendment process. But this amendment (and others) conflict with the fundamentals of the constitution. How about the constitutionality of an amendment that abolishes the judicial branch, and puts its power in the hands of an independent commission?

Perhaps we should get a governor with a college education -- then maybe she could write a letter properly.

I know, I know -- Brewer didn't actually write the letter. All that means is her staff is a bunch of idiots, too.

Trite though it may be, there are two sides to every story. One view is to attempt to ridicule the Governor because she did not graduate from college. An opposing view would be to congratulate her for achieving the success she has despite lacking that credential. Admittedly, I fall in the later camp, perhaps because I saw how successful may father was even though he never went to college.

Graybeard, much like any initiative which has undermined our republican form of government and the Legislature's primary duty of protecting and maintaining individual rights - where do I start?

The most egregious being the virtual removal of the Legislature from the appropriations process - it doesn't get much more fundamental than that, does it?

GED Jan meet hat...she got it handed to her so they probably know each other. Oh, and Greg, at what point will you just write something that wouldn't cause you to make a deal with the Devil?

All the attack Jan adds can't distract from what is both interesting and important.

Exactly why should Brewer have done anything differently? Because we now KNOW what the Ruth Birch White tea reading party was going to do?

Charlton and the Tucson 'independent' already had a plan b for any possible (looks more like probable now) court hearings - namely picking to dem lawyers.

Charlton went with the argument that his client was denied due process and this court grabbed it.

That is one thing. I certainly don't like this extension of 'independence' for this commission, but hey that is a lousy day at the office so to speak.

Where the court has taken a cowardly turn to yet again avoid making a difficult decision is the 'Jan was bad' implications.

The court says that Mathis had no chance to defend herself (due process) and that the Gov and her minions oversteped their authority - and then DELIBERATELY REFUSED TO DEFINE EITHER!

Isn't it crucial when setting precedent to state the precedent?

To Truther's rather august method of arguing - it's more like Ruth White Birch MEET HAT.

It comes as no surprise (I hate the fact that I find myself repeating that phrase way too often) that the media has a leftist slant on the actions taken by the Supremes yesterday (Thu 11/17). And that slant is (drum roll please) the conservative Republicans are power hungry, greedy, haters, racists, bigots, blah, blah, blah, and thank goodness the courts are there to stop them.
As I read the initial comments from the Supremes it does appear to be a technical or procedural issue rather than one of Constitutional authority. I think the Supremes are wrong, but they do have the authority to do this. So the Governor has to regroup and be more specific and get rid of this wrong-headed, biased, "independent" chair of the IRC. I would rather overturn Prop 106 altogether and put the redistricting power back in the hands of elected officials. At least there I have a say, with my vote, to do something about the process. As a voter, I have no power or control whatsoever over this so-called independent commission. I believe it's corrupt. And it is a lot easier to corrupt five people (or one, in the person of the Chair) than it is to corrupt 90 who actually stand for election every two years, or who can be impeached or recalled. This independent commission appears to be independent only in the fact that we, the voters, have no control over them. Slowly our state is losing its guaranteed republican (not with a capital 'r") form of government.

I don't see how Governor Brewer can get any more "specific." The charges made by the Governor's office and the Legislature are weak and seem blatantly partisan. Mathis is there to stay; the original vote to remove her was on shaky ground and it was somewhat of a miracle is passed. It won't happen again.

One more thing (well, maybe not just "one"). The U. S. Constitution "shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." [Article IV Section 4] That means that our state constitution must incorporate and follow republican (not Republican Party) principles. When non-republican principles are interjected into the system (things like taking away powers and authority from the Legislature such as appropriating money and redistricting) you no longer have a true republican form of government. The U.S. Constitution also states: "The Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections of Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof." [Article I Section 4] I submit that the IRC, at least as it pertains to Congressional redistricting, violates the U.S. Constitution. It needs to be repealed.

The Constitution is vague on both what constitutes a "republican government" and how states should handle their redistricting processes.

Important functions have been removed from certain government branches before, and this particular issue has been voted on by the people.

A better argument for you, perhaps, would be that forms of direct democracy, such as initiatives that create independent commissions, are unconstitutional, as they are not "republican" in the strictest sense.

Tim: Agreed, to a point. However, the Founders definition of what a republican form of government is quite clear. Yes, the US Constitution does not give detail in the redistricting process, but it does say it should be done by the Legislature. The problem with the iniative process in Arizona is it is a pure democratic (not Democratic Party) principle and not a pure republican (not Republican Party) principle. The more principles of democracy (the majority rules) that are injected into a republic (the rule of law), the more the republic is damaged. The saddest part of all this is most of our citizens do not have a basic understanding of the difference between the two. Even in a recent column in the Republic, Fred Duvall, Chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents (you would hope he would know better), called our form of government a democracy and used a famous line from John Adams in his argument for more civiity. The Founders branded "democracies" as slightly better than anarchy, and worse than an oligarchy (rule by a few). The word "democracy" does not appear in the Declaration of Independence or in the US Constitution. We need to purge our state constitution and our laws of all non-republic forms of government, or at least reform it enough to make it tougher to use "democratic principles." Otherwise our republican form of government, which is in serious jeopardy, is doomed. And we will degenerate into a democracy which will lead to anarchy.

I, too, lament the lack of understanding about our system of government and its differences with direct democracy. I'm not too concerned with the use of the term "democracy" in rhetoric from either side. Beyond nuanced definitions of philosophies and governments, 'democracy' and 'republic' are now thought of as generally synonymous.

I am all for getting rid of initiatives. They can be useful in repealing really terrible laws enacted by legislatures, but they are abused by too many special interests of all stripes.

That being said, I think we should retain the commission and change the rules so that it requires more than three votes to get things done. It could be four, or a unanimous decision. I think redistricting is more prone to abuse in the hands of the Legislature.


A direct criminal violation. They are required to disregard the address of incumbents in forming new districts. The probability that they did that appears to be miniscule.

Falcon9, how do you come to that conclusion? A few of the seats were made less safe for the incumbent party and Quayle and Schweikert both live in one of the districts drawn. This is hardly an incumbent protection map, nor is it one that upends all of the incumbents.

The IRC has violated the law--plain and simple. The criterion are (1) based on the US Constitution, equal population (they did that); (2) Voting Rights Act, protecting minorities (Grajalva and Pastore, they did that); (3-5) compactness and contiguousness (not even close); respect for communities of interest (not even close); incorporating visible geographic features, including city, town and county boundaries, as well as undivided census tracts (not even close). The sixth named criterion is: creation of competitive districts WHERE THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT DETRIMENT TO OTHER GOALS. Therein lies the problem--and the violation of the state constitution. This IRC has gone out of its way to claim to make "competitive districts" while virtually ignoring #s 3-5, which do not have the conditional phraseology noted above in caps. As always, the devil is in the details. The closer you look at the makeup of the Congressional districts to a great degree and the Legislative districts to a lesser degree, but still egregious, the worse it looks for the IRC. And the more obvious the two Dems and the so-called Independent Chair were/are in cahoots to draw maps that are friendly to Democrats, detrimental to Republicans, and a travesty to the Constitution. Even though I did not vote for nor am I in support of the IRC (I hope Arizona citizens overturn it) I do not fear it if it would just follow the law. The numbers are simply not there to give the Dems an opportunity to control more than three Congressional districts; unless, of course, you violate the law.

"The numbers are simply not there to give the Dems an opportunity to control more than three Congressional districts; unless, of course, you violate the law. "

When it comes to numbers, Republicans, Independents, and Democrats make up about a third each of Arizona's electorate. By your logic, the commission should be drawing three solid GOP seats, three solid Dem seats, and three legitimate toss-ups.

The IRC certainly violated compactness and communities of interest with the draft maps, which, I agree, should come before competitiveness. Point being, if the ultimate IRC outcome is three swing seats (provided they followed the law), GOP activists shouldn't be crying foul.

Recently, I visited with a man from Mexico who is in the U.S. legally, on a work assignment for a large corporation. He was telling me how much he was looking forward to his first American Thanksgiving. He will celebrate with friends either at their home or the others'. I asked about the menu. "Roast turkey with all of the trimmings" he quickly replied with a contagious enthusiasm. This, from a man whose favorite staple is tamales. He has never tasted a real roasted turkey, the American way. I was going to ask about deep frying it...next year, I thought.

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