A judge on Thursday dismissed the final challenge to Arizona’s congressional and legislative district maps drawn by an independent commission in 2012. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roger Brodman dismissed the challenge to the congressional map brought by a group of voters following the adoption of the maps. The U.S. Supreme Court has previously upheld the legality of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission itself and the legislative district maps. Brodman rejected arguments that commissioners used improper procedures and illegally made decisions behind closed doors. He noted that it was important for him to rule because the appeals will likely take years and there are only two more general elections before the next mapmaking effort by a new commission.
“Even if the appeal could be completed and the commission ordered to redo the process, the court cannot imagine that the process would be finished in time for the 2018 elections,” Brodman wrote. “Indeed, the court doubts that the process could be finished in time for the 2020 elections.”
The commission was embroiled in legal issues since it began making the maps after the 2010 census. After they were adopted in January 2012, former Gov. Jan Brewer and other Republicans immediately denounced the maps as being drawn to favor Democrats.
Brewer had removed Colleen Mathis as chairwoman of the five-member panel in November 2011, but the state Supreme Court restored her to the post two weeks later, saying Brewer had no grounds to remove her. The attorney general’s office also sued over open meeting violations, but the commission prevailed.