Russell Pearce Scores Partial Win in Bid To Rig Redistricting

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Pearce wins a Pyrrhic victory, of sorts

The Arizona Supreme Court today handed state Senate President Russell Pearce a partial win in his bid to rig the redistricting process that will affect Sand Land politics for the next 10 years.

In an order just issued by Vice Chief Justice Andrew Hurwitz, the court agreed with Pearce and state House Speaker Kirk Adams that two of the nominees to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission are not qualified because they each hold a "public office," and so are barred by statute. (You can read the order, here.)

In this case, nominees Mark Schnepf and Stephen Sossaman (both Republicans) are "directors of irrigation districts," and so must be replaced by the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments by two other nominees, Hurwitz stated in his order.

However, Pearce failed in bumping off independent nominee Paul Bender, dean emeritus of ASU's law school, and a persistent critic of Pearce's legal efforts at ethnic cleansing, such as Sand Land's breathing-while-brown law SB 1070 and the proposal to undermine the birthright citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The court found that Bender is not ineligible to be a nominee just because he's an appointed tribal court judge, as Pearce and Adams have contended.

Some speculate that Bender was Pearce's true target, and the complaints about the GOP nominees were simply cover for a little payback directed at Bender.

If so, Pearce's "victory" is a Pyrrhic one. But if the appointments commission nominates wingnut and erstwhile Jesse Kelly supporter Christopher Gleason as one of the replacements, either Pearce or Adams will be able to pick a hard-right candidate for a redistricting post. (Kelly challenged Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in her run for reelection last year, and lost.)

Basically, the appointments commission submits a list of 25 nominees: 10 Republicans, 10 Democrats, and five indies. Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle get to pick two from the list and the resulting four members pick an independent to chair the redistricting effort.

The Republican leadership usually picks Republicans, the Dems usually pick Dems. 

But as we all know, there are Republicans, and then there are wingnut Republicans.

Schnepf and Sossaman had already withdrawn their names in reaction to the Pearce-Adams quibbles. 

But in a special meeting held in late December, the appointments commission reacted harshly to Pearce and Adams interjecting themselves into what's supposed to be a process free of such partisanship. Members voted not to accept the resignations of Schnepf and Sossaman, and to stick to their original list.

So Pearce and Adams sued. Oral arguments were heard yesterday at the Arizona Supreme Court. Craig McDermott has a pretty good rundown of the arguments on the Blog for Arizona.com.

Pearce has successfully interfered with the process in bid to bully it. What he's achieved by doing so remains to be seen.

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12 comments
Coz
Coz

Fuck Pearce.

JT Ready
JT Ready

You mean the shirt really turns you on that much? ha.

Alialibubu
Alialibubu

The Appropriator Speaks! I'm the "decider" what I say go! So what if SB1070 "The Description" starring Arizona born or naturalized citizens with two parents born in the USA DNA was a bust at the "Civil Rights" box office. So what if we took 22 months of taxpayers money to build and construct Section 1070 Arpaio Strausse. It was always a CCA Prisons for Profit Two for One Immigrant Super Tuesday. So what if we stole $20,000,000 from the stimulas we so hated from medicare and our "Integrated Healthcare System." It was always about those mexican-american Tom Horne ethnic speaking, talking and walking that way. Our Economic Voters Redistricting and Healthcare Holocaust TEAM GOP has spoken! It was always about "Sanctions." It was always about "civil rights education." McCain said so! I'm the Appropriator and I deem it necessary to "promote" my guy! Kirk's guy! Because what we say go! Broke, Foreclosed, uncounted provisional ballot voters at best! So what! So what! This is Jan's Land! Jan's TEAM GOP Holocaust Land.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Stephen, Great article. Having watched Bender on Horizon, he is far more credible than Pearce and far more educated on the law. We need educated intelligent people in important positions of leadership where laws and policies are written, rather than single issue biased ones in control who write their own laws that serve themselves rather than the people.

Kit Carson
Kit Carson

Attending a lecture delivered by Bender inspired me to go to law school (but as a better school than ASU's).

The man is brilliant.

Steve Muratore
Steve Muratore

I wouldn't consider Gleason an automatic add to the list at this point. With his ties to Kelly becoming more obvious in late December, I'm guessing that there will be more discussion about him before the screening panel votes.

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

Agreed. But I believe you were there at the last commission meeting, and a couple of those dudes were right anxious to plant Gleason on the list.

Steve Muratore
Steve Muratore

Yes, I was there. I did observe a couple of screening panel members were wanting to put Gleason on the list, but overall the panel was quite indignant about Pearce and Adams interfering in the process. At least a couple of the republican members (like Dewey Schade and Jane Strain) took notice of the connection between Gleason and Jesse Kelly. The Tucson shooting was after that meeting of the panel. I have to believe that they would be even more sensitive to the connection between Gleason and Jesse Kelly now.

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