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Category -> CAN FL Alerts

The Supreme Court Rules Again!

by Alan B. Garfinkel, Esq.

This week, a legal challenge by anti-discrimination activists resulted in a ruling from The Florida Supreme Court requiring many Florida Legislative voting districts be redrawn. 

When Florida voters added Amendments 5 & 6 to the Florida Constitution in November 2010, the Legislature was prohibited from creative line-drawing that intentionally favors or disfavors one political party or an incumbent legislator. The Amendments also provides protection to racial and language minorities. These new Articles in our State Constitution require our legislature draw districts that provide an equal opportunity to all citizens to participate in the political process. 

Redistricting last happened in 2012, when our Legislature drew districts for 27 Federal Congressional Districts, the 40 State Senate Districts and all 120 State House of Representative Districts. 

 This issue continues to be contentious. Court battles, judicial rulings determining unconstitutionality, an Extraordinary Legislative Apportionment Session and yet another Legislative Special Session redrawing the vast majority of Senate and other districts were made to put these complex voting rights issues to rest. 

This week, the Florida Supreme Court came down on the subject again. It’s back to the drawing board, literally. Our Florida Legislators must again redraw districts.

The process of redistricting is complex and requires adherence to the U.S. Constitution, the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Florida’s Constitution. Each of these have  specific requirements that must be met during redistricting. Specific Districts the Florida Supreme Court found unconstitutional yesterday were:

5: U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown – Jacksonville

13: U.S. Rep. David Jolly – Indian Shores

14: U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor – Tampa

21: U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch – Boca Raton

22: U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel – West Palm Beach

25: U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart – Miami

26: U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo – Kendall

27: U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – Miami

Click here to read the final Opinion. 

 We will of course continue to keep you posted on whether there will be another “Special Session,” or whether the Legislature will work within the scheduled 2016 Session calendar.  Committee meetings for the 2016 Legislative Session start early this year; the first committee week is scheduled for September 16th, 2015!

 There really are some terrific Legislators that are truly committed to community living. Pictured below with me yesterday are two such Legislators: Senator Thad Altman (R-Cape Canaveral) and Representative Debbie Mayfield, (R-Vero Beach) who deservedly accepted SCCA Legislative Leadership Awards in Cocoa Beach, Florida. We will publish details about the SCCA/CAN Town Hall next week and let you know what Senator Thad Altman and Representative  Debbie Mayfield had to say about you and your neighbors.

Source: Can FL Alerts

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