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Public Policy

State Net Capitol Journal: Florida Supreme Court Rejects Congressional Remap

The Florida Supreme Court threw the state’s political landscape into chaos this month when it threw out the congressional district map drawn by the Republican-led Legislature in 2010, as well as a revised map drawn by the Legislature last year, and ordered lawmakers to come up with a new map by Oct. 17. 

Justice Barbara Pariente, writing for the majority, affirmed a lower court’s “factual findings and ultimate determination that the redistricting process and resulting map were ‘taint[ed]’ by unconstitutional intent to favor the Republican Party and incumbents.” 

But the high court reversed the trial court’s approval of a revised redistricting plan completed last August by the Legislature because it “failed to give the proper effect to its finding of unconstitutional intent, which mandated a more meaningful remedy commensurate with the constitutional violations it found.” The court also concluded, however, that the plaintiffs had only shown enough evidence to support revising eight of the state’s congressional districts and others “affected by the redrawing” but not the entire map. 

Legislators seemed to be at a loss about what to do.         

“I thought the court decision was wrong, but it’s valid and we have to comply,” said Rep. Richard Corcoran (R), who directed the House’s August congressional district rewrite. “The last map we drew had bipartisan support in both houses. This decision was disappointing.” 

But redistricting experts say legislators have very few options and very little time. 

“Whatever procedure the state Legislature is going to adopt, they need to do it right now,” said Michael McDonald, an associate professor of political science at the University of Florida. (TAMPA BAY TIMES, MIAMI HERALD)

The above article is provided by the State Net Capitol Journal. State Net's editorial staff provides an overview of issues, decisions, scandals and politics from all 50 states. Written in a breezy yet informative style, State Net Capitol Journal features sections on Hot Issues, Budgets, Governors, Legislatures, and Elections - to name but a few. Each edition features a map or chart showing how the 50 states compare on specific issues, as well as in-depth coverage of important trends. When you are pressed for time, Capital Journal delivers an intelligent overview of the states.

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