As the Florida Legislature reconvenes to re-tackle redistricting — just five days after ending its regular 2011 legislative session — Florida Democratic party chair Rod Smith came out guns a blaze a day before the new session began, saying that Democrats will offer their own redistricting map.
On Friday the state Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in upholding the House map, but invalidated eight of the 40 Senate districts. The Court said the Senate map violated the state's constitution by intentionally favoring incumbents and the Republican Party, including districts that were not compact and failing to follow political and geographic boundaries whenever feasible.
The Florida Fair District Amendments passed in 2010 call for congressional and legislative districts to be drawn in a fair and contiguous fashion.
The ruling also faulted the Senate for relying solely on voting-age population in attempting to comply with another provision that protects the ability of racial and language minorities to elect legislators of their choice.