Monday, July 6, 2015

Arizona Republican Spending Over $ 6 Million to fight the Independent Redistricting Commission

Just one day after affirming Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission’s (IRC) ability to create the boundaries for congressional districts, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will take up a case challenging the population distribution in the legislative districts that the IRC set.  So the Republican-led spending spree to fight the voter-created IRC continues.

Because the IRC is funded by the state, more tax dollars will be spent litigating an issue that should already be settled. A recent news article reported that the full cost of the redistricting legal challenges is more than $5.3 million, including $1.73 million the IRC has already had to spend in the case the Supreme Court just agreed to hear. Arizona taxpayers can expect to continue shelling out cash for this Republican power grab.

A group of Republican Party activists are leading the charge with this lawsuit, and they seem to be pushing a partisan agenda.  That is exactly what most voters in Arizona wanted to keep out of the redistricting process when they created the IRC by citizen initiative in 2000. Most Arizona voters want redistricting out of the hands of the Legislature. They clearly prefer an independent organization in charge to help remove partisanship and personal political ambition from this important process.

The Republican leaders and activists in this state must answer to Arizona’s voters.  In the opinionJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote regarding the most recently decided IRC case she said, “Arizona voters sought to restore ‘the core principle of republican government,’ namely, ‘that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.’” We agree.