Redistricting Commission seeks cash for defense

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Redistricting Commission seeks cash for defense

CREATED Dec. 22, 2012

Web Producer: Taylor Higgins

PHOENIX (AP) - The state commission that redrew Arizona's political districts is asking the Legislature for $2 million to defend itself from lawsuits filed by critics.

The Independent Redistricting Commission says it needs the cash to pay for lawyers and to pay to redraw district maps if it loses a lawsuit.

The request faces a skeptical Republican-controlled legislature. GOP lawmakers claiming the new maps favor Democrats.

The Arizona Republic reports Commissioner Scott Freeman says he understands the tension between the Legislature and the commission. But the Republican says lawsuits are costly.

The commission is preparing for a March trial date in U.S. District Court. The suit brought by 11 Republican voters claims different population numbers between some districts dilute votes in violation of equal protection Constitutional protections.

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