Florida Five: Fla. Supreme Court tosses congressional maps, upholds ‘stand your ground’ law

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

courtroomFlorida Supreme Court throws out congressional map, orders battleground districts redrawn – Florida’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday morning that the state’s congressional map was illegally gerrymandered and ordered the Republican-controlled Legislature to redraw eight congressional districts, including two of the state’s most contested battleground seats. Read more

Related: Reaction from members of Congress directly affected by Florida Supreme Court redistricting order  

Florida Supreme Court keeping burden of proof with the defendant in “stand your ground” cases – The Florida Supreme Court is keeping the burden of proof with the defendant seeking immunity under the Stand Your Ground self-defense law. The justices on Thursday affirmed the current practice used in courts statewide for pretrial immunity hearings under the law. The court rejected an attempt to shift the burden of proof at that stage from defendants to the prosecution. Read more

NRSC ‘confident’ GOP will hold on to Florida Senate seat in 2016 – Earlier this week, POLITICO speculated that the Democrats have a “narrow” path to recapture the U.S. Senate next year, which appears to be a much friendlier year in terms of victories compared to 2014 (when they lost nine seats) or 2018, when they must defend seats in red states like Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia. One the biggest states up for grabs at this early juncture is Florida, where incumbent Marco Rubio will not be on the ballot. Read more

Florida governor orders prison system audit – Two days after the release of a grand jury report assailing the Florida Department of Corrections in connection with an inmate’s beating death, Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday issued an executive order calling for an independent audit of the besieged agency. The audit, to be conducted by the National Institute of Corrections and the Association of State Correctional Administrators, will focus on staffing and organization — and ways to improve safety, security and rehabilitation, Scott said. Read more

Florida Senator Bill Nelson to undergo prostate cancer surgery – U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery next week to treat it, his office said on Thursday. Nelson’s cancer was discovered in its early stages during a routine medical exam and the 72-year-old will have surgery on Monday, his office said in a statement. “Extensive scans showed no signs of the cancer spreading outside the prostate,” it said. Read more

ICYMI: GOP cheers as far-left Florida Dem Alan Grayson declares for Senate: ‘Let this crazy bastard run!’

Looking for assistance: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Florida house fights to become museum

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page


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