Tuesday, November 1, 2011

IRC: See You in Court

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 7:57 PM

We haven't seen any paperwork, but we hear the Independent Redistricting Commission is ready to file a complaint in state court that today's vote to remove Colleen Mathis as chairwoman was illegal.

It's a gray legal area—the constitutional language that allows for removal of an IRC member reads as follows:

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 senate, for substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, or inability to discharge the duties of office.

Does that mean that, as state Sen. Andy Biggs claims, that "Gross misconduct is essentially what the Legislature says gross misconduct is"? Can Republican lawmakers just toss someone because they don't like the work they've done so far, after spending one day behind closed doors having their arms twisted so they'd vote a certain way?

Or are members of the commission afforded real legal protections, true due process and, at the very least, the appearance of a trial? Is it necessary to prove the maps are unconstitutional or does the judgment of the lawmakers supercede established case law?

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