Court Declares Legislature's Redistricting Amendment Misleading

Editor’s Note – Good luck with this one. 

You have Republicans siding with Black Caucus Democrats, who are being opposed by the NAACP?  What seems to be reasonable is challenged as being unfair, and what appears to be preferential is being touted as just?

I’m waiting for Rep. Corrine Brown to share with us where she thinks Mr. Gerry Mandering would stand on all this?

As best described by Linda O’Keefe, this makes my head spin! 

Although, when you have politicians trying to divy up the pie for themselves, what do you expect?  Just file this under the ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help’ category.

 

Court Declares Legislature’s Redistricting Amendment Misleading

By Marc Caputo
Miami Herald

The Legislature’s decision to counter the Fair Districts Florida redistricting amendments with its own was declared misleading by Judge James Shelfer, who tossed it off the ballot. His ruling is sure to be appealed.

Shelfer said it took him three days to understand the meaning of Amendment 7 and that he couldn’t foresee how an average voter would grasp its description during a few minutes in the voting booth. 

That’s quite a blow to future Senate President Mike Haridopolos and the Republicans in the Legislature who portrayed Amendment 7 as a model of clarity. They said it was needed to “clarify” two other amendments, 5 and 6, placed on the ballot by a group called Fair Districts.

Haridopolos, who co-sponsored Amendment 7 with Democrat Gary Siplin, said the Fair Districts amendments could harm minority voting rights. Florida Congressional leaders, Republican Mario Diaz Balart and Democrat Corrine Brown agree and are challenging Fair Districts.

But Fair Districts backers say Amendments 5 and 6 are simply intended to make it tougher for lawmakers to favor incumbents and political parties when they draw congressional and legislative districts.

Haridopolos released this statement in reaction to a Shelfer’s decision to strike Amendment 7 from the ballot:

Even with seven months of attempts, the sponsors of amendments 5 and 6 failed to explain the workable application of their amendments or how the amendments would protect minority representation.  Judge Shelfer’s inability to understand the process of redistricting after only looking at it for three days is convincing proof that amendments 5 and 6 are fatally flawed.

Amendment 7 was co-authored by Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Gary Siplin and Minority Leader Senator Al Lawson.  I personally supported their efforts because I am not willing to stand idly by and allow minority representation to diminish. 

I fully expect for Judge Shelfer’s standards to be applied to Amendment 5 and 6 and am certain that if that is done, Amendments 5 and 6 will be removed from the ballot.”

Read more: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2010/07/legislatures-redistricting-amendment-tossed.html#ixzz0tBUCTj8p

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Tom Tillison

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