Letters: AZ GOP's redistricting maneuver was constitutional - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letters: AZ GOP's redistricting maneuver was constitutional

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Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011 3:15 am

May we all please stick to the facts regarding Governor Brewer, the state senate, and Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC)? In clearly written language, the voters of Arizona specifically charged the governor and state senate with the obligation to watch over the IRC. 

Here’s what the Arizona Constitution says:  “After having been served written notice and provided with an opportunity for a response, a member of the Independent Redistricting Commission may be removed by the governor, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the [state] senate, for substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, or inability to discharge the duties of office.”

The Arizona Constitution prohibits the IRC from gerrymandering the districts—yet that’s exactly what the IRC did. The AZ Constitution requires the districts to: 1. be compact, 2. respect communities of interest, and 3. respect natural boundaries. Only once these requirements are met first, can the IRC then make the districts competitive. 

However in this case, the IRC sacrificed those requirements in order to first create competitive districts. No one denies that the districts were gerrymandered. Just one example: Newly-drawn Congressional District 1 has Kingman down to Yuma swinging over to include Prescott and Payson down to Queen Creek — all in the same district.  This is quite literally by definition, “unconstitutional”.  Thus, what has occurred is a clear violation of the constitutional requirements.

Wendy Rogers

Tempe

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