Jul 2, 2015

IRC ruling dashes GOP hopes, sets 2016 campaigns in motion

As current Speaker of the House David Gowan and former Speaker Andy Tobin stood on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in early March, their attorneys having just delivered compelling testimony during oral arguments in their big case, Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, things were looking up for the two congressional wannabes.

Jul 2, 2015

GOP turns to fixing IRC, now that it’s here to stay

Tim Steller wrote for the Daily Star this morning that Petersen is planning legislation next year to expand the membership of the IRC to nine members from the current five, and he told our reporter today that he plans to make the legislation one of his priorities in the upcoming session. To read more on this item […]

Mar 9, 2015

Warning signs: Supreme Court seems to lean toward Legislature in battle over congressional lines

Veteran U.S. Supreme Court watchers saw good omens for the Legislature in its lawsuit against the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission as several key justices expressed sympathy with lawmakers’ argument that the U.S. Constitution requires them to draw congressional lines.

Mar 3, 2015

Put the IRC on the endangered species list

If the veteran US Supreme Court watchers at SCOTUSblog are any indication, the Legislature should start sharpening its pencils now.

Dec 30, 2014

Schools, same sex marriage, ‘dreamers’ win in court

Courts in 2014 struck down Arizona laws by siding with gays, abortion providers, and illegal immigrants. Public school students also got a big win in court, but that case probably won’t be resolved any time soon.

Apr 29, 2014

Court: Preclearance, not politics, steered IRC ship

In today’s (April 29) opinion upholding the IRC’s legislative map, a split federal three-judge panel concluded that, although “some of the commissioners were motivated in part in some of the linedrawing decisions by a desire to improve Democratic prospects” in some districts, the primary reason for population deviations were VRA compliance, not politics.

Oct 22, 2013

Horne: ‘No excuse’ for Air Guard members accused of expense fraud

Twenty-one Tucson-based Arizona Air National Guard members have been indicted for fraud after using fake addresses to collect federal stipends meant for those who are traveling or on short-term orders, Attorney General Tom Horne said on Monday.

Mar 18, 2013

An expensive bone to pick

The IRC met last night (March 14) to revisit what has become routine: mounting legal costs and dwindling funds. The commission is just about out of money, and the bills for March haven’t even arrived yet. Executive Director Ray Bladine has opened negotiations with top Legislative staff, and has formally submitted a request for a $551,000 FY13 supplemental.

Jan 16, 2013

We want some more

Executive Director Ray Bladine submitted a letter to Biggs and Tobin on Friday asking for a $2.27 million supplemental to prevent the IRC from running out of money by the end of February, as the commission is still under the cloud of three pending lawsuits.

Jul 30, 2012

IRC to meet on budget, attorney, consultant contracts

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will meet for the first time in five months to discuss contract extensions for its attorneys, consultant and staff as it prepares to fight three lawsuits pending against it in state and federal court.

Jun 7, 2012

GOP lawmakers sue to draw congressional maps

The GOP-led Legislature is suing the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, arguing that the voter approved change to the state constitution that created the mapping body violates the U.S. Constitution.

May 31, 2012

Arizona Supreme Court rejects redistricting suit

Arizona's highest court is refusing to put an open meeting law case related to redistricting on a fast track in the state court system.