Gov. Brewer Initiates "Nuclear Option" To Impeach Redistricting Panel

October 28, 2011 10:03 am ET — Salvatore Colleluori

Jan Brewer

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) has gone nuclear. In her latest effort to ensure the Republican Party continues to dominate Arizona, Brewer is attempting to impeach the entire "tripartisan" Independent Redistricting Commission in her state, a process that has been called "the nuclear option." Brewer decided to take this drastic step because, as Roll Call explains, "Under a proposed redistricting map, there is a possibility that Democrats could gain seats in Republican-controlled Arizona." Currently, Republicans hold 21 of 30 state Senate seats.

Brewer and her fellow Republicans are feeling the heat over their redistricting efforts. As Siddhartha Mahanta of Mother Jones writes:

For the past several months, state Republicans have been weathering accusations that their proposed election law changes don't adequately reflect the state's Latino population, making the new map ripe for rejection by the DOJ. Under Section Five of the Voting Rights Act, Arizona is one of fifteen states that must ask the DOJ to pre-clear part or all of any changes to election laws.

Brewer will have a hard time explaining to the DOJ her rationale in this case given her previous voter suppression efforts. In 2004, Brewer helped pass Arizona Proposition 200, which required identification at the polls as well as proof of U.S. citizenship. Last year, the section of the law requiring proof of U.S. citizenship was overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but the identification section remained. Commenting on the decision, Brewer stated, "This decision is an outrage and a slap in the face to all Arizonans who care about the integrity of their elections."

Ironically, Brewer's own words could probably be used to describe her current attempt to disenfranchise those who disagree with her party's stranglehold on Arizona politics.