Unlike most states, where congressional district are drawn by partisan lawmakers with an obvious interest in ensuring that their party comes out ahead, Arizona uses a much more sensible process where a bipartisan commission draws lines that are not intended to favor either party. This fundamental fairness irks Jan Brewer, so she’s laying the groundwork for a truly drastic response:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is trying to impeach her state’s independent redistricting commission because it recommended political districts that do not disproportionately favor Republicans.
Brewer’s actual charge is that the commission—composed of two Republicans, two Democrats, and one independent—tried to “elevate ‘competitiveness’ over other goals,” an outcome that is apparently now synonymous with “neglect of duty and gross misconduct” in her mind.
To execute this power grab, Brewer is expected to call a special legislative session as soon as today to impeach the commission’s independent chair Colleen Mathis. Actually removing one or more commissioners will require a two-thirds vote of the state Senate, which has a 21 to 9 GOP majority.
The state senate voted 21-6 to remove Mathis for the apparently impeachable offense of drawing fair and non-partisan redistricting maps.