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Politics

Brewer Won't Attempt to Disband Redistricting Commission

November 29, 2011

After her decision to oust the chair of Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission was overturned by the state Supreme Court earlier this month, Gov. Jan Brewer opted on Tuesday not to pursue one option that would have put the commission's fate before voters next year.

Brewer announced that she would not call the state legislature into a special session to approve an initiative for the Feb. 28 ballot that would either repeal the commission entirely, returning the task of drawing the political lines to the legislature, or alter the commission to add more registered independents and diminish Mathis' power.

In order to appear on the ballot on Feb. 28 - the date of the state's Republican primary - the initiative would have to be ratified by Wednesday.

"I've seen no evidence to date that indicates voters are ready or willing to throw out the Commission structure," Brewer said in a statement.

Last week, the state Supreme Court ruled that Brewer was not justified in removing that commission's independent chairwoman, Colleen Mathis, reinstating her and allowing the commission to work toward ratifying new maps for the state's congressional and state legislative districts.

Brewer said she still supports Mathis' ouster and did not rule out again pursuing that option to halt the commission's work.

"I stand by that action, and believe the Arizona Supreme Court grossly erred in returning the Chairwoman to the Commission," said Brewer. "There may be another time to deal with the Court, but it's important at a time like this that we keep our eyes on the bigger picture."

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