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Bender quoted on redistricting commission woes

Paul Bender
November 07, 2011

Professor Paul Bender recently was quoted in an article, “Brewer, GOP blasted over Arizona redistrict panel ouster,” and an Associated Press article, “Ariz. redistricting panel claims Brewer power grab.”

In the Nov. 3 article, Bender called on the Arizona Supreme Court to block the removal of Chairwoman Colleen Coyle Mathis from the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission.

Mathis was removed by Republican members of the Arizona Senate at the urging of Gov. Jan Brewer, based on what they labeled as “gross misconduct.”

However, according to the articles, Democrats called the move a political power grab by the Republicans, who are unhappy with the draft maps drawn by the Commission.

In the Associated Press article on Nov. 4, Bender, a one-time candidate for the commission, said he needed to think about whether he would be willing to fill any vacancy.

Bender said Mathis’ removal creates a chilling effect.

“The Arizona Supreme Court needs to stop this,” Bender said, “If not, you lose the independent commission.”

Bender teaches courses on U.S. and Arizona constitutional law. He has written extensively about constitutional law, intellectual property and Indian law, and is coauthor of the two-volume casebook/treatise, Political and Civil Rights in the United States. He has argued more than 20 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and actively participates in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts. Bender has served as a member of the Hopi Tribe’s Court of Appeals, and is currently Chief Justice of the Fort McDowell Nation Supreme Court, and the San Carlos Apache Court of Appeals.