The Independent Redistricting Commission wants a judge to throw out efforts by Republicans to void the map it created for the state’s nine congressional districts. Legal papers filed late Monday charge that those seeking a new map are using “innuendo, selectively extracted transcript experts, and speculation to weave a conspiracy theory intended to cast doubt on the commission’s work.” Attorneys for the commission also said the lawsuit never says that the maps, which will be used beginning this year, do not meet the constitutional goals. These range from requirements to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act to creating compact districts and protecting communities of interest. Instead, Mary O’Grady and Joe Kanefield, the two lead attorneys for the commission, told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain that the complaint is instead focused on “manufacturing flaws” about the procedures used to draw the map.
The move comes as a different group of Republicans is trying to get a federal court to invalidate the lines drawn for the state’s 30 legislative districts. In that case, however, the challengers want to block the state from using those maps for this year’s election. Instead, they are asking a panel of three judges to draw different lines — lines that those who filed suit believe will be not only legal but also likely more favorable to GOP candidates.
Both lawsuits are built around what the 2000 voter-approved initiative requires the commission to do when crafting maps. In both cases, challengers say that the failure to follow procedures resulted in maps that do not meet the constitutional mandates. In their Monday filing in the congressional maps case, the lawyers for the commission said there is no basis for that contention.
Full Article: Ariz. redistricting headed to two courts.