The Arizona Supreme Court Thursday evening reinstated the chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, rebuffing Gov. Jan Brewer¹s unprecedented action earlier this month.
The ruling came less than three hours after the court heard arguments on the case, which revolved around the extent to which the commission is free of outside political interference.The court decided the governor's Nov. 1 removal letter to Colleen Coyle Mathis did not demonstrate "substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office or inability to discharge the duties of office."
A fuller opinion will follow.
The court's ruling indicates the justices agreed with commission attorneys, who argued the court has a role in interpreting the constitutional language which outlines the grounds for removal.
Brewer's attorney, Lisa Hauser, contended the governor can remove any member of the commission and set her own definition of what "gross misconduct" and "substantial neglect of duty" mean.
The Governor's Office called the court's decision "deeply regrettable."