Florida Senate and House Defend Legislative Maps and Oppose Any Outdoor Mapping
Florida House and Senate attorneys filed briefs on Saturday defending the constitutionality of the new legislative maps. They also argue that the Florida Supreme Court should avoid implementing maps not approved by the legislature.
It is a decision that pushes against the court of 2015 decisions this approved jet mapping for Florida Senate districts and state congressional seats.
Maps approved by the legislature for Florida’s 40 Senate districts and 120 chambers are subject to automatic review by the Florida Supreme Court. This year, for the first time, no one filed a legal objection to the cards, although entities such as Latino Justice and the League of Women Voters of Florida have threatened legal action in the future.
The cards approved by the legislature in 2012 survived high-level initial review by the Florida Supreme Court, which has just 30 days to assess the product for glaring legal issues. But a League and Common Cause lawsuit ultimately uncovered planted cards from interested third parties that influenced Senate and Congress cards. circuit judge Georges Reynolds eventually replaced the Senate map, while the Florida Supreme Court implemented a plaintiff-submitted plan for Florida’s congressional lines.
This year lawmakers prioritized avoiding one of the pitfalls of the 2012 redistribution process, according to legal briefs.
“Aware of the circumstances that led to the invalidation of Senate and Congressional districts in the last redistricting cycle, the Senate adopted procedures and standards early in its process to guard against a similar outcome,” it read. in a press release. brief filed by the law firm Shutts & Bowen on behalf of the Senate.
Lawyers for both chambers argue that the maps meet all constitutional requirements. This includes protecting the voting power of minority communities and ensuring that it has not been diminished in the cards.
“The House diligently followed the law,” reads one brief of the law firm GrayRobinson and speaker Chris Sprows‘ Office. “Its strict adherence to all applicable standards demonstrates that the house card was not drawn with any improper intent to favor or oppose political parties or incumbents. The House fulfilled its constitutional obligation and drew districts without intentional political patronage.
The Fair Districts Amendment to the state constitution, which voters passed in 2010, requires drawing such apolitical lines.
Both the House and Senate cited reports from Florida Politics on the number of incumbents seeking reelection believed to be in districts with colleagues in the chamber.
“While not part of this record, media reported that up to seven seats could move from Republican to Democrat under the House map, and that no less than 19 holders end up in ridings with another incumbent — often within their own political parties,” the House brief read.
“Senate mapmakers did not consider any member’s residency information when drawing district lines, but the media subsequently reported that the Senate plan draws multiple incumbent senators (from both political parties) into districts with each other,” the Senate brief states.
Eight sitting senators would reside in constituencies with colleagues on the new Senate map. In contrast, a Senate map approved in 2012 had no incumbents from either party living in the same districts.
Despite the absence of legal objections at this stage, briefs filed on behalf of both chambers gird the 2015 outcome, namely the implementation of drawn maps outside the legislative process.
“Although the Senate’s plan is valid under any standard of review, the Senate respectfully requests that this Court withdraw from Allocation I and restore the traditional standard of review that this Court applied in reviewing of legislative distribution over the previous four decades,” the writ states.
The I breakdown is a reference to the 2012 case against the cards.
The Senate brief cites the dissent in the case, written by Judge Charles Canada, who argued that it is purely the role of the legislature to draw maps. Canady notably now serves as chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, but he recused himself from all redistribution decisions this year as his wife runs for a seat in the Florida House.
The House brief echoes the Senate’s position.
“The role of this Court is not to select the ‘best plan’,” argues the Chamber’s brief.