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Hubris

We Arizonans have one of the most remarkable legislatures in the country. In 2000, the voters of Arizona approved the creation of an independent commission to draw legislative district lines, thereby removing the power to do this from the Arizona Legislature. The Legislature has drawn these lines since statehood. Since it has become a Republican-dominated Legislature, these Republicans have drawn legislative districts in such as way as to make certain that its dominance and power are maintained.

These Republicans considered the will of the people in passing the independent redistricting referendum an unacceptable breach of its powers and rights. Thus Republican lawmakers voted to bring a lawsuit against the commission, in effect challenging the will of the people.

The Supreme Court decided this question about a month ago against the challenge wrought by the Republican Legislature, upholding the creation of the bipartisan commission.

It is gratifying that the court upheld the people’s will. But any joy in Mudville is tarnished by the fact that we taxpayers paid the legal costs of the Republican challenge. And we picked up the tab for the defense of the commission’s creation.

Now some may argue that the Legislature demonstrated great hubris in fighting the people and using the people’s money to do so. But upon further reflection, one must admit that the Legislature in principle also reflects the will of the people. So it was just one of those things, like “garbage in, garbage out,” and “people get the government they deserve.” Moreover, after the Legislature’s virtual destruction of public education, its neglect of the environment and its love and dedication of and to prisons, the voting taxpayers have no reason to expect any less arrogance from its Republican lawmakers.

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