Florida Legislature to Appeal Voters' Redistricting Victory - Using Their Money!

Staff Reporter | The Bradenton Times | 10/04/2011

BRADENTON – Florida voters passed a landslide referendum amendment last November that prevents gerrymandering of political districts for political benefit. Lawmakers sued them (using taxpayer money) and the courts upheld their victory. Now the legislature is getting set to rack up some more legal bills on their behalf by joining an appeal.

Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon has announced that he will join the legal efforts of Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Miami) in appealing the decision of a federal judge in Miami who threw out their original suit.

Cannon has drawn heat for spending taxpayer money to defeat an amendment overwhelmingly passed by voters and there have even been calls for the legal expenses to be repaid. When asked whether he had any plans to do so, the Speaker's eyes bulged, and he quickly shot back, “absolutely not.” (see video).

Amendments 5 and 6, known collectively as the "Fair Districts," required that the boundaries designated for elections to state, local and federal offices use natural lines that create districts that are distinct by community, such as cities and counties, rather than arbitrary designations intended to shape the voter composition in a way that produces a predictable outcome in favor of a political party. District lines are redrawn every 10 years after the census data is compiled.

Legal battle over state Senate districts coming to an end

TALLAHASSEE - A contentious battle over Florida state senate districts is coming to an end. read more »

Senate won't appeal redistricting ruling

Clearing the way for elections later this year with a map that could boost Democrats' numbers in the Senate, Republican leaders decided Wednesday not to appeal a Leon County judge's ruling setting districts for the chamber's 40 seats. read more »

Florida Senate won't appeal ruling on new districts

TALLAHASSEE — Senate leaders said Wednesday that they will not appeal last month's court ruling that sided with a voters' coalition in setting new district boundaries. read more »

Florida Legislature won't appeal redistricting ruling

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Legislature is giving up the fight and will not contest a court ruling that redraws all of the state's 40 state senate districts for the 2016 election cycle. read more »

Editorial: Republicans should accept redistricting defeat and drop talk of appeals

For a brief moment last week it appeared the Florida Legislature had come to its senses and was willing to accept a judge's ruling on the boundaries for new state Senate districts. read more »

Renumbering state Senate districts triggers political scramble

TALLAHASSEE — It may sound like a simple process, but the Florida Senate's random renumbering of all its districts statewide Tuesday touched off a series of complicated twists that one key lawmaker said only adds more chaos to a continuing redistricting saga. read more »