“The commission looks forward to receiving the Legislature’s comments and will consider its input as required by the Constitution,” a spokesman for the Independent Redistricting Commission said.
When the map was released earlier this month, Brewer issued a statement calling the draft “simply gerrymandering at its worst.” She described the commission as “unaccountable” and said it “has misused its authority.”
Mathis has been the primary target of conservative ire. Should she be removed from the commission, her replacement would have to be selected from a pool of preapproved registered Independents, and there are no guarantees that he or she would support a map more inclined to Republican interests.
Before Brewer’s action Wednesday night, an Arizona Democrat dismissed the Republican talk as “saber rattling.”
If no moves are made related to the commission, the map will finish its 30-day feedback tour of the state at the beginning of next month. At that point, the commission will consider feedback and make adjustments to the map. It will then be submitted to the Justice Department for preclearance approval.
Parties Sign Off on Independent Map in Nevada
In court filings this week, neither party objected to new Nevada Congressional district lines drawn recently by court-appointed special masters, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
The bipartisan agreement on the map indicates the situation could be resolved soon, though the map has a couple of more hurdles to clear. The next step in the process is a Thursday hearing before Nevada District Judge Todd Russell, who will approve or reject the plan. No matter his decision, the redistricting process still must go before the state Supreme Court on Nov. 14.
The proposed map includes one safe Republican district (now held by GOP Rep. Mark Amodei), two solidly Democratic districts (both open seats next year) and one competitive district, which is currently represented by Rep. Joe Heck (R).
The Democratic-controlled Legislature previously approved two maps that were more advantageous for the party than the special masters’ map, but Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed both and let the process play out in the courts.
Republicans wanted one majority-minority district to account for the Latino population now making up a quarter of the state’s population, but Democrats argued against that and the special masters did not include such a district in their plan.
Judge Rejects Request for Special Master in N.M.
Unlike Nevada, there will not be a special master drawing new Congressional district lines in New Mexico.
Republicans in the state, including Gov. Susana Martinez, had requested that the court appoint an independent special master to draw new Congressional and state legislative maps.
But, as the Associated Press reported, District Judge James Hall rejected their proposal, citing the added time and expense that would require. Democrats and American Indian tribes also had argued against a special master.
“In reality, delegating certain responsibilities to a special master inserts additional procedural steps to already complex litigation,” Hall wrote, according to the AP.
Hall will hold separate hearings on each map, with a four-day trial on the Congressional district lines scheduled to begin Dec. 5.
Democrats hold two of the three districts, with the Albuquerque-based 1st district being the most competitive.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.