Robert Robb proposes an unconstitutional end-run around ‘independent’ redistricting

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

This guy never ceases to amaze me with his right-wing sturm und drang over the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

The Arizona Republic's über conservative editor, Robert Robb, has for months engaged in copy and paste opinions from the GOP's secretive FAIR Trust redistricting lawyers/lobbyists putting forth every wild-ass conspiracy theory and hand-wringing over how "unfair" the AIRC, and the courts, have been to Tea-Pepublicans.

Don't they know that Tea-Publicans have a divine right to lord over the rest of us? Who are we mere mortals to question God's will?

That pretty much sums up where Robb is coming from with his opinion today that proposes an unconstitutional end-run around the AIRC. Tea-Publicans are not bound by the Constitution or the rule of law in his authoritarian view. GOP, put up your own maps or shut up:

It's time for Republican legislators to stop whining and bellyaching about the Independent Redistricting Commission's maps.

If Republican lawmakers think they can draw better maps, they should prove it. Draft alternative congressional and legislative districts and refer them to the 2012 ballot. Let voters decide.

I think the Republican Legislature could draw better maps. It would be hard to draft worse ones.

Sorry, Dude. The Arizona Constitution provides for one method, and one method only for drafting new districts, and that is the citizens initiative Prop. 106 that established the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

The Arizona Supreme Court just smacked down the Red Queen and her Senate Star Chamber for their unconstitutional and illegal interference with and intimidation of the AIRC on trumped up charges. Have you not learned anything?

Since the governor would not pull the trigger on a special session in time to send a referendum for repeal of Prop. 106 to the ballot (conveniently timed for the GOP Presidential Preference Primary when only Tea-Publicans would be voting), Robb puts forth an idea originally proposed by Sen. "Don't make me angry" Frank Antenori. Lawmaker wants voters to choose legislative boundaries | The Sierra Vista Herald:

Sen. Frank Antenori of Tucson, who represents a portion of Cochise County including Sierra Vista, envisions a plan where Republican and Democratic legislators would each craft a map, as would the Independent Redistricting Commission. Then all three maps would be presented to voters who would select which one they want in place for the coming decade.

This would effectively render null and void Prop. 106 without actually repealing Prop. 106. If political parties could simply draft gerrymandered maps without any public hearings and input from the voters, the party which turns out the most voters could force its will on everyone else. In Arizona, this is typically Tea-Publicans (who are really into that "triumph of the will" authoritarianism thing).

Arizona voters rejected this heavy-handed political gamesmanship when they enacted Prop. 106. Arizonans removed the redistricting process from the partisan legislature and put it in the hands of a citizens commission which must hold public hearings to receive input from the public. Despite all the Tea-Publican whining we have had to endure about Arizona's Open Meeting law (the Superior Court found no violation of the law), the AIRC process is far more open and transparent than anything a partisan legislature would ever produce.

Robb's restatement of the Antenori plan would be struck down by the Arizona Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Tea-Publicans cannot simply render null and void an entire provision of the Arizona Constitution, particularly a citizens initiative enacted by a majority of Arizona voters. Our Tea-Publican legislature cannot do an end-run around the AIRC, no matter how much Robert Robb fantasizes otherwise.

So if any Tea-Publican legislators are actually considering this nonsense by Robert Robb, give it up. I would try this case in court any day. It is unconstitutional and you are going to lose every time.

Even Robb concedes that "A legal challenge of the maps is a non-starter." His end-run proposal has even less of a chance.

Comments are closed.