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Sounds reasonable. Have a question though. If Mathis believes that she didn't receive adequate time, what's her rush to approve these crazy maps? If she's rushing, that would justify to me, the lack of adequate time.

The maps aren't crazy. They favor competitiveness over incumbency -- which is what the people voted for. Republicans don't trust the people - never have.

Patric, favoring "competitiveness over incumbency" is specifically proscribed by the AZ Constitution and is NOT what the people voted for.

There is so much irony in your last sentence that I'm not sure if it's meant to be funny.

I buy your initial argument (procedural rather than substantive) but I'm not convinced that their silence is further proof.

In either case, why isn't Brewer moving forward as though this was a procedural ruling? If she's confident she was right to do so the first time, she should draft and send a new, more specific letter and attempt again to remove Mathis. If you're wrong about the Court's concern being procedural, they'll surely entertain a motion to rule on the new dispute, allowing them to clarify their earlier ruling in a context more favorable to Brewer. If she's going to wait for them to clarify their ruling anyway, and in either case it's clear that they're tossing the earlier dismissal, then why not start the next steps now?

Greg, "The current maps are not a mistake; they are part of a plan."

Hmmm, must be a conspiracy....

The legislature could clarify the situation by impeaching and removing from office all of the judges who reinstated Mathis. That should clarify to judges that they should not usurp powers assigned to other parts of the government - at least as long as one party has a majority in the House and a 2/3 majority in the Senate.

However, it is unfortunate that Republican legislators probably don't have the fortitude and courage to do that.

Even if there are not enough votes to remove the judges, I'd like to see how the legislators would vote. It would provide useful insights in the event any are challenged in their primaries.

Hunter, that may be the stupidest comment I've seen on this site, and that's saying a lot.

Jason, you nailed it.

If the Governor takes the bait and attempts to be more specific, then the Court will have the opportunity to review whether her specific charges are reasonable or arbitrary. The fact that the Governor didn't establish the standard in the letter was intentional. They can't defend it. So just adding detail to the letter will tip the scales the other way; they will demonstrate that their claims are without reasonable foundation and that no reasonable standard is being exercised. That is why, I'm assuming, the Governor is asking for a reconsideration rather than falling into the trap of being more specific, and, as a result, inaccurate. Great spin, though, on your part, with the proposition that the Court overturning the dismissal is a victory for the Governor. The Court certainly is respectful of the Governor's authority, when she exercises it dutifully and respectfully. In this case, she has not.

Janfan, people like you will be the death of liberty. You are unwilling to put judges on a short leash and remove them when they exceed their authority. If judges aren't held accountable, we will have a judicial tyranny.

Of course, most Republican legislators probably agree with you rather than me. That's why judges can run roughshod over the other branches of government with impunity.

The video of the court hearing for reinstating Mathis gave me the impression that the Supreme Court justices were incredibly smug, condescending, and not seriously willing to consider that this matter was beyond their jurisdiction. After all, the state constitution is very clear that this is a matter for the governor and the Senate. The Supreme Court is not supposed to be part of the process.

Your insightful response is an indication of how far our society has descended into judicial tyranny. It is like people deciding how to handle employees who routinely exceed their authority and are contemptuous of their employers. You don't "handle" people like that, you fire them for acting unprofessionally and beyond their authority. Then you hire people who will do the job properly.

I suppose you would allow judges to determine whether the impeachments and removal from office of other judges is legal as well based on whether the legislature handled the process with "appropriate" procedures beyond what is required in the constitution.

This is a simple case of judicial overreach. The court should have refused to accept jurisdiction and declined to make any ruling in the matter.


Please tell us about the Koch brothers.

I think Jack is correct. If you are a justice and you can punt on procedural grounds without getting to the messy merits, you do just that - and they did here. This episode has hurt Brewer's numbers, given Democrats a good line of attack agaist Republicans and will embolden the Democratic Commissioners and Mathis to stick right with the proposed lines.

Supremes just rejected Jan again. Chew on that!

The answer s, indeed, clear.

I guess we'll just file this post next to the "Avatar" vs. "The Blind Side" post and the "Obama will never be elected president no matter how many times he throws his white grandmother under the bus" commentary.

Greggy, you are a huuuuge Brittney Spears fan, no? "Oops, She Did it Again"
Now, why don't you go ahead and delete this post and run along to the doctor to get that Espresso Elbow checked out. Too much premature back patting is a hazard.


I especially like your suggested answer on the "purple dress" question because it shows your fundamental disagreement with the Governor's central legal argument.

Remember, her position was that the issue of whether Chairwoman Mathis’ conduct constituted “gross misconduct” or “substantial neglect of duty” was a non-justiciable political question. By urging the Supreme Court to apply a standard of review – Chevron deference – you concede the issue is justiciable, and that the Court has the authority to intervene. Your suggested answer isn’t consistent with Lisa Hauser’s legal premise that judicial review violates the doctrine of separation of powers – it completely contradicts it. That’s a breath of fresh air.

BTW, I’m curious why you’d urge the application of Chevron to an executive’s action for the first time in history. In my view, that would have been much less favorable for the Governor. Chevron is less deferential than the standard articulated by the Court in Ariz. Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting v. Ariz. Independent Redistricting Comm’n, in which it expressly applied the very high standard articulated in Walters v. Nat’l Ass’n of Radiation Survivors.

The arbitrary and capricious standard, used in Chevron, requires reviewing courts to “engage in a substantial inquiry . . . ., a thorough, probing in-depth review” and determine “whether there has been a clear error of judgment.” It seems to me that would have been a much easier standard for the Court to justify finding against the Governor.

Further, Chevron instructs that in the event a definition is ambiguous, a court should look to legislative history for direction. In this case, Hauser argued that there are no judicially discoverable standards for defining “gross misconduct” and “substantial neglect,” and the Arizona Constitution’s language doesn’t clearly define the terms. Ambiguous? You bet. Under Chevron, the Court certainly would have looked to the legislative intent. This would have been incredibly unfavorable for the Governor -- demonstrated by the fact that Hauser emphatically contended legislative intent was completely irrelevant. (See: http://azstarnet.com/article_3f026917-6424-5cd8-8aea-d1b3d25519b0.html)

Anyway, given your agreement with the Court on the central issue – justiciability – it seems unlikely the outcome would have been any different.


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