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Judge Rejects Legal Challenge To Redistricting Commission

The last remaining legal challenge to Arizona’s 2012 political redistricting has been rejected.

A lawsuit filed by state Rep. Vince Leach did not take issue with the final results of the redistricting but, rather, the process. The suit alleged that the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission violated a number of its constitutional mandates while redrawing the state’s political maps in 2011 and 2012.

The suit accused the commission of failing to properly study voter demographics such as race and political affiliation; ignoring recommendations from the state Legislature; and making critical decisions in secret, violating the state’s Open Meeting Law.

But in a ruling this week, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roger Brodman said that the commission has wide discretion in how it operates and that there was no evidence to support any of the specific claims of violations.

The five-member commission — consisting of two Democrats, two Republicans and an independent chair — redraws Arizona's political maps every 10 years, following each decade's federal census count. Barring an appeal, the current political maps will stand until after the 2020 census.

News director Chad Snow joined the KJZZ newsroom in 2016.