Here are some highlights of the Florida Supreme Court ruling today rejecting the Legislature's Senate map and validating the House map:
The court has a different role in redistricting than for ordinary legislative acts:
"Even though we continue to recognize the presumption of validity that governs ordinary legislative acts, the operation of this Court‘s process in apportionment cases is far different than the Court‘s review of ordinary legislative acts, and it includes a commensurate difference in our obligations. Challenges to the constitutionality of ordinary legislative acts passed by the Legislature must be brought in a trial court and then reviewed by a district court of appeal. This Court has mandatory jurisdiction in those circumstances only if the legislative act is found to be unconstitutional."
"The new requirements dramatically alter the landscape with respect to redistricting by prohibiting practices that have been acceptable in the past, such as crafting a plan or district with the intent to favor a political party or an incumbent. By virtue of these additional constitutional requirements, the parameters of the Legislature‘s responsibilities under the Florida Constitution, and therefore this Court‘s scope of review, have plainly increased, requiring a commensurately more expanded judicial analysis of legislative compliance."