In a 17-page concurring opinion to the court decision to validate the Senate map, Justice Barbara Pariente concludes that Florida’s redistricting process, while improved because of the new Fair District amendments, still contain flaws that could result in the will of voters not being served.
“The bottom line is that while the goal of the new amendment is laudatory, it is imperative that there be further exploration of the limitations of time, process, and the language of the ―intent standard,’’ Pariente wrote.
Pariente explored that time constraints imposed by existing Constitutional provisions and concluded they are unrealistic. She said the process by which legislators draw maps with an "intent" not to favor or incumbents or political parties is inherently conflicted and the will of the voters might better be served to require that districts be “competitive” rather than to suggest that political intent be barred.
Pariente showed us again how she has become the court’s most vocal redistricting critic with her treatise on the requirement in the Fair District amendments requirement that the maps be draw with no intent to protect incumbents or political parties.
She then included this list of comparisons – between the invalidated Senate plan, the redrawn Senate plan, the coalition‘s alternative plan, and the Democratic Party’s alternative plan which show that despite Democratic voter performance and registration numbers, Republicans were given the numerical advantage in the maps. “This partisan imbalance naturally raises questions,” she wrote.