Thursday, June 25, 2015

Legal Battles Over Redistricting Have Cost More Than $3.6 Million

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 1:19 PM

click to enlarge final_congressional_districts_-_statewide_8x11.jpg
With the Obamacare decision out today, the Supreme Court has just handful of decision left to release.

One of them is Arizona Legislature v. AIRC, which will decide if Arizona voters are allowed to give an independent panel the power to draw congressional district boundaries or whether state lawmakers have that exclusive power.

While awaiting the decision, Mitch Martinson of Arizona's Politics has run the numbers on how much has been spent in the legal battle over the Independent Redistricting Commission:
To come up with our revised post-redistricting, partisan litigation number of $3.65M+, we removed the $1.2M in "General" legal fees, the $578K incurred in fighting then-Attorney General Tom Horne's challenge of the AIRC's open meetings, and the $182K expended to fight then-Governor Jan Brewer's action for removal. We then added the $360K paid by the Arizona Legislature to local law firm Davis Miles and U.S. Supreme Court expert Paul Clement, as part of the case that Arizona (and several other states) are anxiously awaiting a decision from the Justices (within the next couple of weeks).

There are presently three live cases against the AIRC, all from either Republican lawmakers, or Republican-philic interests. Surprisingly, the AIRC has spent THE LEAST in outside legal expenses on the Arizona Legislature v. AIRC case about to be decided by the Supreme Court.

This is partly because it is a Constitutional challenge that did not require much time-intensive (costly) discovery, and partly because the U.S. Supreme Court expert Seth Waxman surprisingly agreed to represent the Redistricting Commission pro bono. That saved Arizona taxpayers somewhere between $300-500,000.***

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