« New Florida law prohibits state, local governments -- namely Miami-Dade -- from hiring companies with business ties to Cuba | Main | 15 state House members to miss start of session »

Redistricting's incumbency protection test: How Senate numbers its districts

As Florida lawmakers reconvene Wednesday for a two-week special session to redraw the Senate maps, one question remains: Will they be able to stop themselves from protecting incumbents?

That question may be answered best by looking at one simple test: how the Senate numbers its districts.

Armed with new redistricting standards approved by voters in 2010, the Florida Supreme Court threw out the Senate’s first proposed map last week on the grounds that it “was rife with indicators of improper intent” and included a district numbering scheme that “plainly favors certain incumbents.”

Because of the once-a-decade reapportionment process, all 40 of the Senate districts will be up for re-election this year. Depending on how the numbering is handled, many senators could get an automatic advantage that gives them the opportunity to serve a longer term than the eight years prescribed by term limits.

In its 5-2 decision, the court established guidelines legislators should adhere to when drawing their districts and said that the House redistricting map appeared to comply with those guidelines. The Senate map, the court said, did not.

The court said the Senate’s map included eight districts that clearly violated the Florida Constitution’s Fair Districts amendments and included a numbering scheme with a “built-in bias” that favored incumbents. Keep reading here.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

harry houdini

The Congressional districts are flawed as well. In many cases thay follow the Senate plan which was rejected by the court. Please from Senate leadership for more time to re-do the Congressional districts SHOULD FALL ON DEAF EARS. Get it DONE. Once and for all!

harry houdini

Excuse my typing. Please should be pleas. Thay should be they.

Sorry.....

kennychuck

Can anyone count the unconstitutional laws this legislature has passed? One thing is for certain, they will not allow the constitution to get in the way of their political agenda, including our right to a fair vote; not one loaded in their favor. If you ever hear a republican say he/she is opposed to government interference in our lives, all you have to do is look at the laws this legislature has passed to know it is perhaps the biggest lie they tell us.

The comments to this entry are closed.