By Mary Jo Pitzl | The Arizona Republic
(Editor’s note: RLG Director of Litigation Brian Bergin represents IRC Commissioner Scott Freeman)
Republicans trying to discredit Arizona’s current legislative district map told a federal court Monday that the new political lines were drawn deliberately to benefit Democrats and dilute the power of GOP voters.
Monday’s session kicked off a weeklong hearing before a panel of three federal judges who must decide if the new map was skewed so heavily that it unconstitutionally denied Republicans their right to equal protection under the law.
At stake is whether the new boundary lines, which were used in the 2012 election, will hold or whether the panel will send the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission back to the drawing board.
On Monday, attorney David Cantelme laid out his case that everything from the way the five-member commission picked its attorneys to the way it set about drawing 30 new legislative districts was designed to benefit Democrats.
And he suggested the commission had access to incumbent politicians’ home addresses, which showed up in a computer file of the commission, although it later could not be found.