Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports that the U.S. Department of Justice today approved the legislative map drawn by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC). Feds pre-clear new legislative districts | Arizona Capitol Times:
In a letter to the IRC DOJ Letter (.pdf), DOJ attorney Thomas Perez informed the commission that the U.S. attorney general has no objections the new districts. Arizona is one of a handful of states required by the 1965 Voting Rights Act to get federal approval for voting and election law changes.
The IRC drew 11 districts where minorities make up more than 50 percent of the total population. According to the IRC’s analysis, ten of those districts are expected to give the minority population the ability to elect candidates of their choice.
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DOJ’s approval of the legislative maps marks the likely end of the IRC’s work, unless the commission is sued over the congressional or legislative maps. Lawsuits have been threatened, but so far none have been filed.
The pre-clearance letter allows the IRC to avoid the fate of its predecessor, which had to redraw parts of Arizona’s current legislative map after DOJ objected to one of the districts in 2002.
Your move, House Speaker Andy Tobin. Go ahead, file a lawsuit. I can't wait for the discovery requests for communications between you and your aide John Mills, with Arizona Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature and congressional delegation, GOP organizations and the secretive GOP redistricting organization FAIR Trust. Let's shine a light on your shadowy activities and have some transparency for the first time into your efforts to undermine the constitutionally prescribed AIRC, and undermine the will of the voters who created the AIRC by a citizens initiative.