AZ Supreme Court reinstates Mathis as IRC Chair

This evening the Arizona Supreme Court reinstated Colleen Mathis, the controversial and ousted chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

The court’s action is a dramatic reversal of the actions taken on November 2, by Gov. Jan Brewer and the state Senate, which voted 21 – 6 for Mathis’ constitutionally provided removal on charges of “gross misconduct.”

The court’s ruling, which the governor called “deeply regrettable,” came less than three hours after justices heard arguments on the case, which revolved around the extent to which the commission is free of outside political interference.

Gov. Brewer’s statement regarding the reinstatement can be read here.

15 Responses to AZ Supreme Court reinstates Mathis as IRC Chair

  1. Night Owl says:

    A setback, Yes. Over? Not by a long shot. There are still options to pursue. Colleen Mathis has been exposed as a liberal partisan masquerading as an “Independent.”

  2. Tyler M says:

    Neither the State Supreme Court nor any other state court has any authority or grounds to act in this situation. The Court just subverted the Arizona Constitution’s demands for a separation of powers.

    The State Supreme Court just took over the job of the legislature & its decision should be thrown out & completely disregarded by the State Legislature as unconstitutional infringement on their elected power. This has now become a complete constitutional crisis because the Court has now weighed in on a matter which it has zero authority to decide.

    This is a gross violation of judicial activism & is truly hurtful to our democratic process. The justices have now put themselves on impeachable ground for disregarding the checks & balances that government is supposed to have.

    I am completely disgusted by this unconstitutional ruling.

    • LexRex says:

      The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission must be dismantled. Arizona voters were sold a bogus bill of partisan goods with the AIRC. It is clear that the previous method of having the state legislature draw district lines, for all its flaws, is far superior to the AIRC.

      The legislature is elected by the people, the AIRC are political appointees who have proven they are NOT accountable to the people. The judiciary have now set the AIRC above and beyond the constitution.

      The Constitution must be amended to rid ourselves of this circus pretending to be a commission. Rescind the AIRC.

    • LexRex says:

      Excellent post! I agree, these are grounds for impeachment and removal of these partisans in black robes.

      • Villanova says:

        Here are the Judicial Deciders:
        http://www.azcourts.gov/meetthejustices/Home.aspx
        From the news clip I watched last night, it’s clear Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch was not present, replaced by retired Justice Michael Ryan. Like Berch and Ryan, John Pelander, the Vice Chief is a Republican. So is Justice Robert Brutinel.

        The Democrats are Justices Andrew Hurwitz (Vice Chief of the AZ Supreme Court, longtime Democrat operative currently being considered for the ultra liberal Ninth Circuit Court by Obama) and Scott Bales.

        This court is actually dominated by Republicans, not Democrats.

      • chick says:

        Villy “dominated” is hardly the correct termanology for two lib dems, one moderate republican and two republicans. 3-2 is not “domination”.

  3. Copper Dome says:

    It is my understanding (not having seen the decision) that the Court didn’t invalidate the Senate’s action, per se. It decided that the Gov’s letter requesting the Senate remove Mathis didn’t adequately spell out which specific actions of Mathis the Gov considered “gross misconduct” as required by the Constitution. (Note: the letter WAS pretty weak and the Gov was warned of this very possibility.) Now, Mathis has called a meeting for next monday to finalize the maps. Theoretically, the Gov. Could write a stronger, more specific letter so that the removal can be done “right.” [Insert “Animal House” quote here.]

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=V8lT1o0sDwI
    Stay tuned…

    • Seeing Red AZ says:

      Copper Dome:
      Please resend the “Animal House” You Tube clip. This one isn’t working.
      Thanks.

  4. American Dad says:

    This is the statement released earlier today by AZ House Speaker Andy Tobin in response to the Arizona Supreme Court’s reinstatement of the IRC chairwoman Colleen Coyle Mathis:

    “I am extremely disappointed that the Court has chosen to reinstate a biased czar to the Independent Redistricting Commission. By placing Ms. Mathis back at the helm of the Commission, the Court has substituted its opinion for the voice of the people through those they have actually elected to represent them. The Court has removed the last remaining check and balance on an unelected and unaccountable body that has spent months blatantly and proudly violating open meeting laws, meeting in secret, ignoring voter mandates and placating the Democrat Party and the Obama administration. If this Commission is not put to a stop, the Court’s decision means more secrecy and more gerrymandering from a body that has shown a disdain for the Constitution. Moving forward, I am putting all options on the table in an effort to protect our state from being hijacked by a partisan ploy to demolish the democratic process.”

    • chick says:

      Why is it that I can’t get the results of the order as to the number of votes either from the news media or the Supreme Court Administration? Don’t the usually release the numer of dissenting opinions? It can hardly be termed a “stern rebuke” (mother jones) without this info. IMHO

      • Villanova says:

        chicky:
        Read my friend! I was not talking about the redistricting commission when I used the word “dominated.” I was referring to the AZ Supreme Court and named all of the justices who heard the case last night, as well as noting their party affiliations.

        Take off your blinders. And please don’t call me Villy.

      • chick says:

        Hey, Villanova, you added a “y” onto chick?
        It was just easier to type shorthand than all 9 letters on the mini keypad on this mobile. One finger typing doesn’t help either.
        No problem. FYI, I don’t care if you want to add a “y” onto chick. But, I still disagree with the terminology. Words can add such meaning to events that may not be as described. The court as of 4:30 or so, still had no idea of the makeup of the ruling. Strange. That’s what I was told by the Court Administration myself.

  5. chick says:

    Villy, I knew you meant the Supreme court. The supreme court is NOT Dominated. You correctly i’d the 2 libs and 3 republicans, but a 3-2 isn’t dominated.

    What blinders?

  6. Mike Triggs says:

    Was the vote unanimous?

  7. Brian says:

    Contact US Department of Justice and notify them of the federal laws that the AZ Supreme Court is violating. The AZ Supreme Court is also known to violate privacy laws such as wire taping and home invasion when their “targeted” person is out during the day from their home. Sorry to say, but his is not a joke.

    The Federal Gov will take legal action. If Gov Brewer assigns the Judicial officers in this state so the judicial corruption starts from her office.