Ariz. gov: I can fire redistricting chair

Nov. 8, 2011 at 4:16 PM
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PHOENIX, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she has the right to remove the independent chairwoman of the state's redistricting panel and the panel cannot challenge the move.

In a filing Monday with the state Supreme Court, lawyers representing the Republican governor said Proposition 106, which created the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission in 2000, did not give it the power to file a lawsuit if one of its members is taken off the panel, The Arizona Republic reported. The five-member commission included two Democrats, two Republicans and independent Colleen Mathis, who was chairwoman until Brewer fired her last week.

Brewer charged that Mathis failed "to apply the Arizona Constitution's redistricting provisions in an honest, independent and impartial fashion." The commission's lawyers said Brewer overstepped her authority.

Redistricting is a hot issue this year. Republicans emerged from the 2010 elections with new majorities in many state legislatures and governors in many states at a time when new district lines are being drawn for members of Congress and state legislators.

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