Common Cause Signs onto Brief in Support of Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Chair Mathis

Common Cause Signs onto Brief in Support of Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Chair Mathis
  • Dale Eisman

In Arizona, Common Cause formally signed onto a brief in support of Colleen Mathis, who was unconstitutionally removed as chair of the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission last week by Gov. Jan Brewer and Republican senate leaders.

“Without a doubt, Ms. Mathis’ removal was unlawful, unjustified and part of a partisan power play by the Governor and the Republican-controlled state senate,” said Greg Rabidoux, Common Cause’s director for redistricting.

Common Cause joins a bipartisan group of four additional Arizonians who have also signed onto the friend-of-the-court brief, which was to be filed by Friday by the law Firm Perkins Coie LLP.

Proposition 106, passed 11 years ago by Arizona voters, took state lawmakers and the governor out of the state’s congressional and state and local legislative redistricting process. The initiative created the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AZ IRC), a non-partisan agency, and gave it authority to draw congressional and state and local legislative districts. Common Cause Arizona and grassroots and advocacy allies helped secure passage of this successful reform initiative.

Recently, the independent commission released a draft legislative redistricting map, and Gov. Brewer, in an unprecedented step, removed Mathis as chairwoman, claiming “gross misconduct.” Without hearings or any serious examination of this claim, as well as other allegations, a two-thirds majority in the state Senate, voting 21-6 along party lines, upheld this extreme and baseless removal process.