In the political context, it means "bring in the lawyers." Where "process" doesn't generate desired outcomes, litigation is the alternative.
We're seeing that phenomenon happen with Arizona's redistricting process.
That's not entirely unexpected as redistricting *anywhere* usually brings lawsuits.
Usually however, they wait until maps are drawn before litigating or threatening to litigate.
Here in Arizona though, we are fortunate to have political prodigies like Russell Pearce and Kirk Adams.
They're not waiting for new legislative and Congressional district maps to be drawn.
They're not even waiting for the panel that will draw the maps to be formed.
From Mary Reinhart at the Arizona Guardian (subscription required) -
GOP threatens lawsuit over redistricting panelA lawsuit, also known as the "Goldwater Institute attorney full employment initiative."
GOP legislative leaders Tuesday called on a state commission to reconsider its nominations to a new redistricting panel or face a lawsuit.
To be fair, the Democratic leadership is responding with its own "going to the mattresses" pledge.
From an Arizona Republic piece by Mary Jo Pitzl -
Democrats, meanwhile, said their Republican counterparts were wrong to meddle with the process.I've got call calls out to the Arizona Attorney General's Office (regarding a question about who would handle a lawsuit from Adams and Pearce - lawyers working for the AG's office, the legislature, the Party (s), or someone else) and to the Appellate Court Appointments Commission (regarding a question about any future meetings to address this current GOP-generated kerfluffle).
"The whole intent of this process was to keep lawmakers out of it," said Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix.
If the nominating commission reconfigures its list of 25 candidates, Campbell predicted a lawsuit.
"Once that list has been released and certified, I don't think you can go back and do it over again," he said.
Updates as more info becomes available.
BTW - this may be the first time in history where a written piece has both the word "kerfluffle" and the phrase "going to the mattresses" in it. They generally aren't known for their juxtaposition. :)