Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BREAKING: Arizona Taxpayers Have Spent (Approximately) $4.5M In Legal Fees Defending Republican-Backed Challenges To Redistricting

In the wake of today's unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the legislative maps approved by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission ("AIRC"), it is time to re-tally the amount of legal fees Arizona taxpayers have paid to date because of the multiple legal challenges.

The bill was $3,649,239 as of last June 19, as Arizona's Politics and the AIRC tallied up at the time.  While the AIRC is still reviewing and allocating the legal bills paid since then (when the SCOTUS killed the case brought by Arizona's Republican lawmakers), Arizona's Politics notes that more than $850,000 has been paid by the state to law firms from the AIRC's account in the current fiscal year.

As almost all of that will be related to the Harris (decided today) and Leach cases (and not general
legal expenses), the total is now very close to $4.5M. The breakdown among the seven firms is to the right; it totals $853,724.55.

The $4.5M total does NOT include the amount taxpayers have paid for Assistant AG's and other Arizona-employed attorneys (at the Legislature, the Secretary of State's Office, the Governor's Office, etc.) while they have been working on these cases. We have also not included those challenges that were mounted by the AG or the Governor. It also does not include any payments that may have been made between last year's article and the close of the fiscal year at the end of that month.

For details on how Arizona's Politics and the AIRC reached the previous $3.6M total, please refer to last year's articles.

It is also worthwhile to note here that the AIRC received several hundred thousand dollars' worth of pro bono legal services by top Supreme Court advocates Seth Waxman and Paul Smith, in both the cases brought by the Arizona GOP legislators and the Harris case (partly funded by GOP-philic dark money).

(Here is a complete list of links to articles Arizona's Politics has published regarding the AIRC and the legal challenges.)

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.


Barbara Espinosa said...

search a waste of money. It would have been better on education.

Mitch M. said...

Thanks, Barbara! Education would be good, and a lot of other things it could've been better spent on.