Florida Senate redistricting plan sent to Justice Departmentby John Kennedy | March 30th, 2012
The U.S. Justice Department was sent the Florida Senate’s latest attempt at redrawing its own political boundaries Friday in a bid to have the plan approved by the state’s scheduled June 4 candidate qualifying period.
The Senate map, endorsed this week by the House, still must go to the state Supreme Court, which then has 30 days to act on the proposal. Justices rejected the initial Senate rewrite, forcing a 15-day special session which ended with Tuesday’s House vote.
But federal officials have their own 60-day window to review the proposed map. In light of the advancing date for candidates to file papers, attorneys for the House, Senate and Attorney General Pam Bondi, are clearly hoping the Justice Department review will overlap with that of Florida’s high court.
“In light of the imminent qualifying period, prompt consideration is requested,” the attorneys concluded.
The state is already in uncharted waters with the Supreme Court rejecting the first Senate plan as favoring incumbents and packing minority voters into districts.
Justices had validated legislative maps drawn by lawmakers in each of the previous 10-year redistricting cycles dating to 1972, when the court was first brought into the process.
Tags: U.S. Justice Department