On January 31, the Eleventh Circuit upheld Florida’s new initiative that says when U.S. House districts are drawn, the legislature must not favor or disfavor any political party or any incumbent. Here is the 32-page decision, Brown v Florida House of Representatives, 11-14554.
The Florida initiative had been challenged by Democratic U.S. House member Corrine Brown, and Republican U.S. House member Mario Diaz-Balart. The U.S. District Court had also upheld the initiative. The two members of Congress had argued that Article One of the U.S. Constitution requires that only legislatures pass laws concerning congressional elections. But the Eleventh Circuit said that “legislature” within Article One includes the initiative process, because Florida’s constitution itself contemplates that the voters exercise legislative powers when they use the initiative. In a sense, the voters become the legislature. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link. UPDATE: see this news story about the decision.