Wait… what? Really? Florida?!
To understand this story, some background is needed.
Back in 2010, Florida decided to vote on a Constitutional amendment that would make it illegal to participate in partisan gerrymandering. Surprisingly enough, it actually passed. While the redistricting process would still be done by the state legislature, there would be stop gaps in place to make sure the districts hadn’t skewed in favor of a certain party or politician. Yet people were still skeptical. The question whether the law would defer to the courts or to the Florida legislature was the major question.
After the state’s Supreme Court decision today, looks like we got our answer.
In a 5-2 ruling, Florida’s state Supreme Court struck down the state’s current congressional map citing that eight districts were in favor of GOP candidates. The complaint to the courts came from the League of Women Voters who had suggested – along with other media outlets and academics – that the public redistricting process was basically…
They went as far as to say that Republican operatives made the majority of districting decisions behind the scenes. Critics of Florida’s redistricting process pointed at the 2012 election results that had the GOP getting 17 out of 27 House seats while only getting 51% of the vote. The court looks to have agreed.
Now the Florida legislature will have to redraw the Congressional map and gain court approval. The court also issued a set of guidelines that the Florida legislature must follow to ensure that transparency of the entire process is in place this time around.
Usually state Supreme Court decisions don’t have this big of a potential impact, but considering they have set precedence in which gerrymandering laws can be potentially enforced and overseen by state courts, Florida could be the leader in this going forward.
Which I can say with some certainty, would be a first anyone said, “Florida is the leader in [BLANK]” that didn’t end with “old people” or “people that have been on Cops.”
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)