In a major victory for Florida's Republican-led Legislature, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday validated the redrawn map of the Florida Senate, allowing the boundaries to serve as the political borders for the next 10 years.
In its unanimous opinion, the court noted that the opponents to the Senate map, the Florida Democratic Party and a coalition of voting groups including the League of Women Voters, the National Council of La Raza and Common Cause of Florida, "failed to demonstrate that the revised Senate plan as a whole or with respect to any individual district violates Florida's constitutional requirements."
But in two concurring opinions, Justices E.C. Perry and Peggy Quince, the court's black justices, and Justice Barbara Pariente each focused on the flaws remaining in the redistricting process. Perry and Quince dissented on the portion of the map that includes Volusia County, saying it ''splits the historically black Democratic community in Daytona Beach when it was feasible for it to be kept whole."
Pariente, the author of the March 9 opinion that invalidated the Senate's first map as "rife with indicators of improper intent" concurred with the majority but issued her own opinion pointing out what she considers major flaws in Florida's redistricting process.