Dan Webster asks Supreme Court to let him intervene in congressional case

Tampa Bay Times | 10/23/2015

Arguing that the "extraordinary" circumstances surrounding the state's congressional redistricting challenge could leave him without a district, U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Orlando, on Friday filed to intervene in the case before the Florida Supreme Court, arguing that violates the constitution.

"The Congressional District of a sitting United States Congressman is being transmuted into a majority minority district in which he stands no chance of re-election, and he has, to date, not been permitted “a seat,'' Webster argues in a motion filed by his attorney Jim Wilkes.

Webster offers up a new argument: that by significantly revising his district, it violates the provisions of the Fair Districts amendments by "disfavoring" an incumbent.

Webster tried and failed to make the same argument and intervene in the case before the trial court but Circuit Court Terry Lewis rejected it. His new motion recognizes that allowing someone to intervene in the case at the Supreme Court level is generally not authorized but the circumstances are unique.

He said the court ruled the current district violates the constitution's anti-gerrymandering provisions in its July 9 ruling, but did not offer any directions for how to redraw it. As a result, the newly proposed map "is a radical departure from the history of the district" and it becomes a minority-majority district.

"The Proposed Remedial Plans are specifically intended to disfavor Congressman Webster as the incumbent in District 10,'' the motion argues.

The court is scheduled to hear arguments on Nov. 10.

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