Adams v. Comm'n on Appellate Court AppointmentsAnnotate this Case
The Arizona Constitution requires that a five-member Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) draw boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts after every decennial census. According to Ariz. Const. art. 4, pt. 2, section 1(3), during the three years preceding appointment, members of the IRC shall not have been appointed to, elected to, or a candidate for any other public office. In 2010, the Appointment Commission selected twenty-five nominees for the IRC, including a chief judge for two state tribal courts and directors of irrigation districts. Petitioners Kirk Adams, speaker of the House of Representatives, and Russell Pearce, president of the Senate, asked the Commission to reconsider, arguing that the three contested nominees were ineligible because they held public office. The Commission declined to change its selections, and Petitioners filed a petition for special action with the Supreme Court. The Court (1) denied relief as to the tribal judge because a tribal judge is not a public office for purposes of section 1(3); (2) granted relief as to the irrigation district board members because an irrigation district director holds a public office for purposes of section 1(3); and (3) ordered the Commission to identify two alternative nominees.