Home Uncategorized Florida State Court Orders Legislature to Reconvene and Redraw U.S. House District Boundaries
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Florida State Court Orders Legislature to Reconvene and Redraw U.S. House District Boundaries

On August 1, the Florida trial court judge who had invalidated the U.S. House district boundaries last month ordered the legislature to return for a special session and redraw the districts. See this story. At first glance, and without my having seen the court order, it seems that the principles of separation of powers ought to prevent any judge from telling a legislature to reconvene, and that instead, the judge should have given the legislature a window of time in which to reconvene, but to say that if the legislature declines to do that, that the court will draw new boundaries. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

4 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    How many brain dead New Age MORON judges are there ???

    Impeach the MORON judge NOW.

    See the zillion cases where new gerrymanders have been ordered by judges after the various gerrymander hacks failed to enact a new *legal* gerrymander.
    —-
    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

    See BAN Aug 1, 2014, pp. 3-4 — Brit partial P.R. in the EU Parliament elections

  2. Jim Riley

    Here is an article from a non-North Dakotan source:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/01/4266657/florida-judges-orders-special.html

    Here is the court order.

    http://media.miamiherald.com/smedia/2014/08/01/18/58/KhAkp.So.56.pdf

    He didn’t really order the legislature to convene, but simply to produce a map by August 15. He reserved judgment whether it is even feasible to hold elections on new districts this year. AFAIK, he has not sought to interfere with the primary which is August 26 (and must in practice be well underway with absentee ballots).

    He also suggested he does not have jurisdiction to order special elections, but only to delay the general election.

    In the case of legislative districts, the state constitution provides a procedure by which the Supreme Court reviews the districts and then gives the legislature a chance to fix them. This was not part of the redistricting initiative, but was added previously to ensure that the legislature did redistrict. So it is not totally unfeasible for the legislature to redistrict in a short period.

    In the case of the legislative redistricting, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction. In congressional district there is no judicial role, other than ordinary review of laws passed by the legislature, so it ended up in a lower court.

    I suspect the judge anticipated the legislature appealing the case, which would have avoided any change for this year. And the legislature anticipated that they would have the opportunity to fix the map, like they did the legislative maps.

  3. pete healey

    It isn’t at all clear from the 2 articles I’ve read that the judge actually ordered the legislature to reconvene. This may be more a case of sloppy writing by a journalist on deadline than a crossing of the separation of powers line?

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