Arizona Supreme Court Reinstates Colleen Mathis as Chairman of Redistricting Commission

Early this evening, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling reinstating the so-called ‘Independent’ Colleen Mathis to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

This is a victory for leftists and Strategic Telemetry who were attempting to manipulate the Arizona Constitution to gain political power by leveraging data to the left’s advantage.

Three members of the commission decided to disregard the mandates outlined in the Arizona Constitution and solely utilize the element of competitiveness to draft Arizona electoral boundaries.

The law states the following under Article 4, Part 2, Section 1:

(14) The independent redistricting commission shall establish congressional and legislative districts. The commencement of the mapping process for both the congressional and legislative districts shall be the creation of districts of equal population in a grid-like pattern across the state. Adjustments to the grid shall then be made as necessary to accommodate the goals as set forth below: 

A. Districts shall comply with the United States Constitution and the United States voting rights act; 

B. Congressional districts shall have equal population to the extent practicable, and state legislative districts shall have equal population to the extent practicable; 

C. Districts shall be geographically compact and contiguous to the extent practicable; 

D. District boundaries shall respect communities of interest to the extent practicable; 

E. To the extent practicable, district lines shall use visible geographic features, city, town and county boundaries, and undivided census tracts; 

F. To the extent practicable, competitive districts should be favored where to do so would create no significant detriment to the other goals.

The two Democrats and Independent member, Colleen Mathis, established “F” – the competitive provision – as the main criteria in drafting the maps.

This was a blatant redistribution of votes.

With Mathis now reinstated, the commission can move forward working to further divide and leverage minority power against the rest of the State of Arizona.

We would assume that Governor Brewer is furious over the court’s action (A statement was just released.)

This may also set the stage for a constitutional crisis.

This also should give the legislature further motive to move quickly to enter a special session with the exclusive objective of referring a repeal of the law that gave us the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

The Legislature has until November 30th to pass a referendum in order to place it on the ballot on the same day of the Presidential Preference Election on February 28th.

If you support repealing the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and restoring this authority to 90 elected accountable people instead of 5 un-elected un-accountable people, contact the Arizona Legislature and let them know.

Time is running out for the legislature to act.

Lets restore this important authority to those who will not manipulate the law using slick Democrat consulting firms.


  1. The State House of Representatives should impeach the justices who voted to reinstate her and all the Republicans in the State Senate should vote to remove them from office.

    • I second the motion. The special interest fanatics are completely out of control.

    • They can also just choose to ignore this unconstitutional ruling by robed tyrants who have no authority on this issue whatsoever.

      • Go for it.

        I triple-dog-dare them to.

      • Conservative American says

        There could be more here than meets the eye; strategy!

        The real issue isn’t Mathis, the real issue is the maps. Going after Mathis was the QUICKEST action which could be taken. However, there are allegations concerning a lack of proper assessment of and consideration of minority populations. That would be a violation of federal law and a case to be heard before the U. S. District Court. That’s a case which requires more time to prepare so the Mathis impeachment may have simply been a quick and immediate action and something with which to buy some time to prepare a federal case.

        • I have never heard the minority consideration being an argument. I have only heard about open meeting laws, attorney selections, mapping consultants, communities of interest, incumbents losing safe districts, and how she is a Democrat in disguise.

        • True Conservative says


          The issue of minority representation as a federal concern is an interesting approach. However, there was no need to “move quickly.” The maps go into place that day they go into place, no sooner, no later. Nothing happened in the past few months that affected that date.

          Acting in haste just made the (R) party look silly.

          • Conservative American says

            The idea of moving quickly was to put a quick end to the maps in the most expeditious manner. Even if the maps go into place, however, there is plenty of opportunity to legally challenge them.

            Yes, there was an argument that there was not an adequate assessment done on the impact on minority voters and some Hispanics have accused Democrats of putting the empowerment of Hispanic voters behind that of competitiveness, meaning Democrats securing an advantage.

  2. Mike Triggs says

    Good for the Arizona Supreme Court. It is good to know that at least one branch of AZ government has respect for the voters that approved the Constitutional Amendment changing the reapportionment process and taking it out of the hands of the legislature and governor.

    Perhaps the appointees of the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate should have done a better job of vetting the Chairman before voting for her appointment. Since they didn’t do their job they have no one to blame but themselves.

    The voters were very clear in 2000 what they wanted – an Independent Commisssion. What makes Governor Brewer and Republicans in the legislaure think that our minds have changed.

    • Yep, we voted for it. We also voted for Medical Marijuana 3 times IIRC. What the Gov did was wrong, and she got spanked for it, that is a good thing.

      • So, are you a user?

        • Haven’t touched it in over 25 years. But, have seen lots of friends and family suffer from cancer and chemotherapy. Marijuana helps the sick.

          • Then put it in a pill and remove the sensory-altering high.

            Or is that not the point of all this?

            I was stuck a semester sharing rent with Marijuana users… found out AFTER I moved in and paid. Was counting the hours to the end of the semester, they were becoming downright DANGEROUS in their loss of cognitive ability.

            Plus,their rate of lying increased the longer they used.

            • The physical and mental effects of marijuana come from a cocktail of cannabanoids, not just one or two isolated chemicals. This is why a THC-synthetic like Marinol sometimes falls short of treatment goals. Burning cannabis releases many chemicals, it would be hard to isolate the few that help with nausea or loss of appetite from the ones that cause “the high.” It’s possible that the whole cocktail is necessary.

              Your paranoia stemming from anecdotal experiences is worrisome.

              • You weren’t on the fishing boat the pot-head sank or the store manager of the store they shop-lifted from because they’d smoked the grocery money. Did I mention they all dropped out of school, unable to function thru classes?

                Our pharmaceutical industry specializes in extracting viable chemical out of all sorts of “cocktails” of plants. If they could make money on this, they would have a nice pill fo rthe medical suffers.

                Nope, ya’ll want the “high.” Anyone who used marijuana while it’s has been illegal smoked Blood Weed. Lying is absolutely a bad manifestation associated with this drug use.

                Did I mention LYING?

            • You have never had a really good Saturday night, have you?

          • Conservative American says

            We get it. You never inhaled, LOL! 🙂

    • Yeah, they did vote for an Independent Commission.

      Unfortunately the commission this year isn’t so independent. It turns out that these commissions can’t possibly be truly balanced and fair, the reason why it needs to be overturned.

    • They also voted to let the governor remove commission members with concurrence of 2/3 of the Senate. The court is overriding the will of the people expressed through the constitution and their elected officials.

      • Exactly. The Court has ZERO authority on this matter. They are causing the Andrew Jackson stare-down. “Okay, you made a ruling, now you try and enforce it.” The Governor & the State Legislature have all the power & authority on this matter.

      • They gave her the right of removal if she could demonstrate a certain threshold was met. I think the Supreme Court is saying she has not yet demonstrated that threshold (which is undefined). Even Senator Biggs said that the threshold is undefined by the courts, so it was up to the Senate to decide. That is dangerous, because that standard can change over time.

        In the long term, this case is very important because the Court will be able to frame a definition for what constitutes a removable offense. That kind of guidance will restrict abuse in the future.

    • Mike,

      I guess that you don’t believe in the separation of powers guaranteed by the Arizona Constitution. The State Supreme Court has no grounds or authority to reverse this decision by the State Senate. The State Legislature should just ignore this ruling by the State Supreme Court & move forward in choosing Ms. Mathis’s replacement.

      • Checks-and-balances. The Court has the duty to make sure the other two branches don’t overstep their authority. They aren’t saying the removal is illegal. They are saying the threshold for removal has not yet been sufficiently demonstrated.

        I fully expect the Governor to take another shot at this with more details in her next letter.

  3. Brian Clymer says

    You have got to be crazy if you think the voters of Ariz. would trust the GOP legislature to draw the maps. Look how they railroaded Colleen Mathis only to be slapped down by the state Supreme Court.

    • The State Supreme Court broke the law by not recusing itself from this case. They have no grounds to override a 2/3rds vote decision by the State Senate to remove a member of the “I”RC in a completely legal & constitutional manner. If you agree with what the Court did, then why don’t you move to a country that doesn’t allow elected representatives to do their jobs?

      The State Supreme Court has now caused a constitutional crisis in the State of Arizona.

  4. It is my understanding (not having seen the decision) that the Court didn’t invalidate the Senate’s action, per se. It decided that the Gov’s letter requesting the Senate remove Mathis didn’t adequately spell out which specific actions of Mathis the Gov considered “gross misconduct” as required by the Constitution. (Note: the letter WAS pretty weak and the Gov was warned of this very possibility.) Now, Mathis has called a meeting for next monday to finalize the maps. Theoretically, the Gov. Could write a stronger, more specific letter so that the removal can be done “right.” [Insert “Animal House” quote here.]

    Stay tuned…

  5. SA- “90 elected accountable people” you refer to are our legislators? Not so sure how “accountable” they are given they, too, conduct secret, closed-door meetings, as has the IRC.

    Seems these appointed and elected “arrogants” have forgotten that they work for us; the PEOPLE. Isn’t there a law against closed-door meetings when it come to conducting state business?

  6. CD6 Businessman says

    The fact that Mathis was appointed the chair ticks me off more than the Supreme Courts decision. We knew this would be a fight and we knew it was going to be manipulated by both sides. Where was our side when this all happened. I guess I was wrong in my assumption that the AZ GOP should have been leading this fight throughout the entire process. But I think they were too busy repainting the HQ and playing swords with Steven Segal.

  7. Paula Pennypacker says

    This was yet another overreach by our legislature. The legislature acted as judge, jury, and executioner. Their arrogance is stunning.

    The maps in question were only draft maps. How can draft maps be “neglect of duty or gross misconduct”?

    Lampoon is also right in point out that this is the second time the will of the voters has been ignored. We voted three times in this state for medical marijuana — and three times — far-right prohibitionists have ignored the will of the voters.

    Let me be clear. Elected officials work for we the people. We are a democracy not a dictatorship.

    Wunumba — please explain to me how marijuana is anymore damaging to a collage-students brain cells than alcohol? And why it is a good thing that it is easier for our children to purchase a marijuana cigarette on our schoolyards than a six-pack of beer?

    • I have a theory on why the medical marijuana issue is never-ending. There have been other studies that show, all things being equal, marijuana and alcohol would be almost perfect substitutes for each other. It’d be the same relationship that bean dip, salsa, and guacamole all have in common. They’d be competing for the same dollars.

      Alcohol loses if marijuana is legalized. Now who controls the alcohol in Arizona? Hensley? Who controls Hensley? I think her last name is McCain…

      • No, alcohol doesn’t make people stupid the way marijuana does. It’s creepy. Alcoholics will lie to cover up their addiction, which means they still have a conscience, pot users lie to cover up all the crap and actual crimes they commit.

        It wrecks the conscience. That should scare people to death.

        • I’ll just put this out there: the pot-smokers you knew may have just been terrible people. Some people are just bad, nothing makes them that way. You’re making decisions on policy and politics based solely on your own anecdotal experience. I could do that, too (for instance, I have known many people who smoked pot and they were decent to themselves and others), but my experience pales to observable and testable facts.

          • ALL potheads think they terrific. Without fail.

            It the rest of us who have to clean up their messes and carry their weight that are the judges, not them.

            The OWS has a high rate of drug use and a high rate of violence. Drug use enhances narcissism.

            • I’m not talking about what pot-heads think of themselves, I’m talking about what sober people- like myself- say about people they know that smoke pot. Few fit the stereotypes you are espousing.

        • No, alcoholics just beat their wives and kids, and cause deadly accidents on the road. And sometimes, they get out of DUI’s and later become governor…hic!

          • And potheads run entire trains off their tracks. They are not innocent in the road, heavy machinery accident department or household domestic violence.

            LYNG is a feature of exended drug use.

            • Companies need to drug test for safety related positions. I used to order drug tests all the time for employees, though they were usually drunk more than high. Or they were high on prescription drugs like Oxycontin. I spent the last 21 years working for companies that drug tested.

              I’d much rather have an employee that did MJ than one that was an alcoholic or a pill head.

              No one ever overdosed on marijuana, and like I said, stoned people don’t beat the hell out of their families, or steal to support their habit.

              • The pothead who sunk the fishing almost killed five crewmembers. They had to be rescued by the Coast Guard 80 miles offshore. “OOPs” because they couldn’t remember simple orders doesn’t go far.

                DId I mention that LYING increases with the length of MJ use?

              • A tragedy for sure, but how many drunks have killed people, a hell of a lot more than people on marijuana. But, that’s OK because booze is legal, even though it leads to abuse of family members and accidents and death from drinking too much. But, you can’t overdose on marijuana, And, for those that can benefit from it who are dying of cancer or have extreme pain, its a hell of a lot better than hooking them on heroin (morphine, or oxycontin). Limbaugh lost his hearing from taking too much Oxy, what a shame.

                Marijuana is safe and should be decriminalized.

        • Alcohol kills brain cells. So it can make people stupid. However, in the instance of abuse with both drugs, the stupidity of the user was probably a pre-existing condition.

    • Conservative American says

      Ms. Paula wrote: “Wunumba — please explain to me how marijuana is anymore damaging to a collage-students brain cells than alcohol?”

      Does it have to be more damaging than alcohol for the damage to count? Is it that anything less damaging then the “gold standard” of alcohol is insignificant? What about driving imapaired?

      “Some States (Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin) have passed “per se” laws, in which it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if there is any detectable level of a prohibited drug, or its metabolites, in the driver’s blood. Other State laws define “drugged driving” as driving when a drug “renders the driver incapable of driving safely” or “causes the driver to be impaired.”

      THC affects areas of the brain that control the body’s movements, balance, coordination, memory, and judgment, as well as sensations. Because these effects are multifaceted, more research is required to understand marijuana’s impact on the ability of drivers to react to complex and unpredictable situations. However, we do know that—”

      “A meta-analysis of approximately 60 experimental studies—including laboratory, driving simulator, and on-road experiments—found that behavioral and cognitive skills related to driving performance were impaired in a dose-dependent fashion with increasing THC blood levels.”

      “Evidence from both real and simulated driving studies indicates that marijuana can negatively affect a driver’s attentiveness, perception of time and speed, and ability to draw on information obtained from past experiences.”

      “A study of over 3,000 fatally injured drivers in Australia showed that when marijuana was present in the blood of the driver, he or she was much more likely to be at fault for the accident. Additionally, the higher the THC concentration, the more likely the driver was to be culpable.”

      “Research shows that impairment increases significantly when marijuana use is combined with alcohol. Studies have found that many drivers who test positive for alcohol also test positive for THC, making it clear that drinking and drugged driving are often linked behaviors.”

      • How did this become a debate about marijuana?

        • It was evoked up there as a complaint against Brewer. But the potheads get upset that not everyone agrees with their chemically altered views so they are arguing.

          • Dial it down a notch, will you? Perhaps not everyone who disagrees with Governor Brewer are addicts with altered thought processes?

            • WHat’s to dial down? Straight talking, with zero exaggerations.
              The complaint up top was about not getting the legalization of marijuana breezed thru, grumblegrumble about the law, the legislature, the governor .. all to justify the argument that we all SHOULD have legal pot.

              Even though it totally screws peoples’ heads up.
              If THAT’s important, THEN it speaks VOLUMES about the person’s priorities and judgment on that AND OTHER issues..

              • Then, don’t smoke it. But do have a beer…that’s legal

                You seem to have to attack anyone with an alternative viewpoint as being on drugs. That is a pretty bush league way to debate. You complain about the lack of focus on this thread, and you are guilty of it yourself.

    • ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
      Paula Pennypacker says:
      November 18, 2011 at 9:12 am
      Wunumba — please explain to me how marijuana is anymore damaging to a collage-students brain cells than alcohol? And why it is a good thing that it is easier for our children to purchase a marijuana cigarette on our schoolyards than a six-pack of beer

      So Paula, are you a user, too? DId you LOOK at what you just wrote?

      • How typical, you can’t argue the point, so you call the other poster a drug user.

        Really, that’s pretty weak debating skills, its beneath you.

        • The other posters like YOU are now on on record as being self-professed drug users. Therefore, I AM using the CORRECT and ACCURATE nomenclature to refer to you as a user.

          Oh, does it LOOK bad? If you don’t LIKE it, then STOP using drugs and the appellation will no longer apply to you.
          It’s extremely simple, but it requires YOU change YOUR behavior to do better than you have been doing.

          • Paula Pennypacker up there admitted she has been a user, so I “used” it.

            DId you not notice that? She still hasn’t been able to figure out what mess of a question she put there, she has no self-edit discretion to indulge in demonizing Conservatives and Republicans yet she harbors aspirations for political office, but can’t “see” any harm in extended drug use.

            uh huh.

          • Judging by your reaction and your use of caps, you really have a lot of anger.

            You say that “other posters like YOU are now on record as being self professed drug users” What did you mean to accomplish with that statement? I told you I don’t do drugs, but you still have to stoop to try to lump me in with drug users with a smarmy statement like that.

            You try to use causation to prove correlation, a serious flaw in logic. Really, can you argue the topic of MMJ without resorting to calling those with a different viewpoint as drug users? I doubt it. Maybe you should get a prescription for your anger issues, it will calm you down. :>

  8. I’m going to start investing in handbaskets.

  9. Marty Smith says

    This is the result of the Progressive War against America Soros and his ilk has been waging for decades, Installing liberal judges. taking power from elected officials and handing off to hand-selcted progressive operatives

    WAKE UP CONSERVATIVES – WE ARE AT WAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Paula Pennypacker says

    Yes I did — wanumba — answer the question.

    Here is another question for you. Who has done more to get America off drugs? Gerald Ford or Betty Ford?

    Conservative American — driving while impaired, no matter the substance used, must always be against the law.

    • What’s the question, Penny?
      You are FOR legalizing pot and then you wrote THIS to someone who is AGAINST legalizing pot:

      “And why it is a good thing that it is easier for our children to purchase a marijuana cigarette on our schoolyards than a six-pack of beer”

      • So you used Blood Pot. Knowingly got high on expensive stuff that required law-breaking, trafficking and abuse of poor people to provide the supply chain to get it to you.

        How “noble.” How upper class wealthy of you. You know, you COULD have used that pot money to easily sponsor more than one orphan in the Third World a month from nursery thru high school, but you just inhaled it. Gads, it would have been cheaper to sponsor a starving orphan than buy a weekend’s worth of party pot.

        • This is what I’m talking about when I asked you to dial it down.

          • I have found out by simple questioning that a number of the frequent posters who show up on this blog, ALL Democrats, are self-professed drug users.

            It’s rather germane in determining the priorities, the veracity and motives of these posters. They did not and some continue to embrace illegality in their own personal lives, that is IF we can trust their word that they are not current users. Why should it be a surprise then that they will be predisposed to ignoring rule of law, allowing extention of illegalities in other sectors and demonizing Conservatives who don’t agree with them?

            I like to know what I’m dealing with. I know now.

            • Tim,
              If you re-read, you will see that I have not inferred everyone who disagrees with Brewer is a drug user. I am addressing those who have voluntarily self-identified themselves to me and all of us here that they use drugs. Further, they are united in one side of the political spectrum, they have all posted here as pro-recall, pro-legal drugs, pro-amnesty and constantly demonize and lie about Conservatives and Republicans.

              Drug use and altered perceptions of reality are rife in #OWS, and so is violence, destruction and personal depravity.

              You want me to tone down the truth and let a lie rule the day?

            • How do you know that they are all democrats?

              I am an independent. Used to be Republican. And, I don’t use drugs, just beer.

              You really love to judge, without regard to the facts. Your posts really expose you as a projector. You infer all the time that if someone disagrees with your stance on MMJ, they must be a stoner. Honestly, you can re read your posts and see it, plain as day.

              And, even, if they do use marijuana, is that worse than being an alcoholic?

              BTW, love how you bring in OWS, even though that has nothing to do with anything, lazy debating skills, don’t you think?

        • Well, the answer is clear, you should only support American grown marijuana. Grown indoors, hydroponically and safely, with love from freedom loving patriots, legal and taxed.

          • Pot’s bad for you. Why don’t you quit it and do something that helps people instead?

            • I don’t smoke pot, I think this is the third time I told you that. Why do you continue to smear people?

              BTW, Alcohol is bad for you, why don’t people quit it and do something that helps people instead. Are you for the banning and abolition of alcohol?

              • Don’t get ‘numba’s fixation on pot smokers. I’m guessing he’s a guy who really likes his booze.

                Still wondering what this has to do with the Mathis situation?

            • I’d like to know how you have free reign on this website to accuse, label, and trash people that come here and have yet to say anything ugly.

  11. Paula Pennypacker says

    wanumba —

    I have been away from the blogs for a day. Are you suggesting that those of us who want to end the war on drugs are pot smokers? Really?!

    • Yep, its the standard old canard they rely on when they realize they have no argument, just call them all “stoners” and that ends the debate.

      Maybe back in the days of Joe Friday, that kind of empty rhetoric would work, but not so much today. Unless someone wants to drag up old stereotypes and try to foment some kind of outrage. I have a good friend that is about to undergo a last ditch bone marrow transplant, she has been through hell and the odds are not good, how does it hurt anyone for her to smoke some pot?

      • HOW hard is it to understand?
        If someone used pot, then he or she deliberately broke the law and smoked Blood Weed, that is an illegally procured product that has the murder of innocents and criminality as part of the supply chain network.

        Blood Diamonds, Blood Weed. Same illegality that costs people their lives and degrades functioning legal systems.

        If you all did not see anything WRONG or EVIL wth that, weighing your personal indulgence over adherance to fair law, THEN you have a devastating judgment problem.

        If you gave it up and denounced it as wrong, fine. But by pushing for legalization of marijuana that degrades foundations of personal responsibility, you are promoting MORE of it. That means the drug damaged your cognitive processes.

        The rest of us have to carry your weight, and clean up the mess and destruction.


        • “Blood weed” Such hyperbole. Medical Marijuana is legal in AZ. Those with cards are growing their own, its not hurting anyone in any supply network, do you understand that?

          So, someone who is sick is growing their own and taking it as medicine. HOW exactly does that harm you? Really, how does that harm you?

          You need to calm down, you sound like you are going to have a stroke over this.

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