Arizona Supreme Court Backs Ousted Redistricting Chairwoman

Posted November 17, 2011 at 7:19pm

Updated: 11:19 p.m.

The Arizona Supreme Court today ruled in favor of the reinstatement of the ousted chairwoman of the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission.

The court order stated that a letter Gov. Jan Brewer (R) wrote to Mathis on Nov. 1 did not demonstrate “substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, or inability to discharge the duties of office,” which was the legal grounds for the action.

The court heard oral arguments on the case earlier this afternoon in an hourlong hearing.

The Mathis-led commission drafted a proposed redistricting map that enraged national and state Republicans. Soon after, Brewer with the consent of two-thirds of the state Senate, removed Mathis from the panel.

Brewer issued a highly critical statement late tonight on the ruling. The governor called the Supreme Court’s action “deeply regrettable” and “misguided.”

As for the future of Arizona redistricting, Brewer said, “In the coming days, I’ll be considering my options as to how best to proceed.”