Acting alone, House asks Supreme Court to let trial court mediate map dispute

Mary Ellen Klas | Miami Herald | 08/24/2015

In a sign that intra-party feuding continues to divide lawmakers, Republican leaders in the Florida House today split from their brethren in the Senate and filed a motion Monday asking the Florida Supreme Court to give the trial court the authority to accept and review alternative maps for redrawing the state's congressional districts.

Lawyers for the House asked the Florida Supreme Court to relinquish jurisdiction for 60 days to "solicit proposed remedial plans from the parties" and conduct a hearing in order to provide the high court a recommendation.

The Supreme Court gave the trial court until Oct. 17 review the completed map approved by lawmakers but when the Legislature adjourned its session Friday without agreement on a joint map, that left the court with clear direction.

Leon County Circuit Court Terry Lewis has ordered a scheduling conference for 3 p.m. on Tuesday to review the matter and the House's motion offers up an option.

Here it is: Download Other Motion Not Listed

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli issues the following statement to legislators:

Dear Members:

As I shared with you on Friday, I have consulted with our counsel regarding our best course of action in light of the events of Special Session B. Going into the Session, our primary goal has been to protect the integrity and constitutional positon of this institution. With that in mind, and after much deliberation, I have asked our counsel to submit the House version of the congressional map to the Court for consideration.

I want to reiterate that this decision is not made because of personality or politics. I believe the base map (produced with House and Senate input) with the final House amendment (drafted as a constitutionally sound compromise with the Senate) best meets the requirements of Art. III, Sec. 20 of the Florida Constitution.

While it gives me great pause to ask the Court to decide this matter, I can assure you that the difference of opinion between the two Chambers is both significant and legitimate. Attached is the motion that was just filed with the Supreme Court requesting the opportunity to present our map to Judge Lewis.

We are in an unprecedented and unique time, and every action we take is charting new territory. I appreciate your patience as we navigate through this process.


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