Arizona Citizens Supporting Honest Representative Government At All Levels
A recent decision by a federal District Court panel about Arizona's legislative redistricting map deserves more attention than it received.
Not because of the result upholding the map, which was unsurprising. But because two of the three judges concluded that the map was manipulated for partisan advantage and one found that the map was, indeed, unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that the 14th Amendment requires that state legislative districts be of equal population. In one of those judge-made rules, invented out of thin air, the court has decided that a population deviation of more than 10 percent is presumptively unconstitutional, while one of less than 10 percent is presumptively constitutional.
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission pushed that threshold, adopting a map with a deviation of 8.8 percent. The commission claimed that was necessary to create enough districts in which minorities would call the shots to be precleared by the federal Justice Department, which was required at the time.
There is, however, a peculiar pattern to the deviations, as noted by Judge Neil Wake in dissent. There were 18 of 30 districts in which the deviation exceeded 2 percent. Republicans had the registration advantage in every district in which the population exceeded the mean. Democrats had the advantage in every district in which the population fell below the mean. Stuffing more Republicans into fewer districts advantages Democrats.
Republicans sued, claiming that the population deviations were motivated by politics, not Voting Rights Act compliance, and thus not constitutionally justified.
The impartiality of the commission has been in doubt from the beginning. The nominally independent chairwoman, Colleen Mathis, coordinated with commission Democrats in a couple of troubling decisions.
This commission decided, as did the previous one, to have both a Democratic and a Republican legal counsel. Mathis and the two Democrats then selected a Republican lawyer opposed by the two Republicans on the commission – which defeats the purpose of having bipartisan counsel.
Read more by Robert Robb on azcentral.com
so, what now?
Well, nothing since the third judge said, in Hillary Clinton style, "What difference does it make?" And then voted to leave the gerrymandered districts in place. The odd one is the second judge who agreed it was partisan and wrong and then voted with judge #3! One sane judge out of three. Hard to beat that. But such is the way with leftist judges who control the "judicial" system!