WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT A SPECIAL SESSION?
posted by Michael Chihak
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she's not inclined to call a special session of the Legislature on the issue of redistricting unless legislators tell her they want it. Legislators say the ball's in Brewer's court.
The impasse may pass today, allowing legislators to act in time to get any change measure onto February's presidential primary election ballot.
Being discussed are a number of proposals, including asking voters to repeal Proposition 106, which they passed in 2000 to set up the current Independent Redistricting Commission. Another proposal would call for expanding the redistricting panel to add more independent members.
The current panel has five members. Proposition 106, now embodied in the Arizona Constitution, requires the panel's makeup to be two Republicans, two Democrats and one independent, who serves as chair.
Independent Colleen Mathis is the chair, a lightning rod spot if there ever was one. She was lambasted, then fired by the governor and state Senate three weeks ago. The state Supreme Court reinstated her two weeks ago, and then rejected Brewer's appeal.
The constitutional and legal entanglements of it all could -- and probably will -- fill a book.
At the least, they will fill a TV program -- Friday's Arizona Week, which will update the legal and political fight and look at the myriad legal issues from the perspectives of several lawyers.