In a lengthy response to the House's request to dismiss their lawsuit, the Democrats of the Florida Senate countered Friday that "by unilaterally adjourning sine die with more than seventy-two hours" remaining in the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers violated the constitution and deprived Senators "of their opportunity to fulfill their duties and responsibilities."
The court gave the Senate Democrats two-and-a-half hours to file the response to the House's request to dismiss the case. The Senate Democrat's responded that the separation of powers doctrine does not prohibit the court from ordering the House back into session but, they argued, there is lengthy precedent for the court to act in similar cases, and they are entitled to an emergency order that forces the House to return to Tallahassee.
They argued that the House adjournment sine die "by motion rather than by concurrent resolution is inconsistent with the text and purpose of the Florida Constitution" and the House's argument misconstrues the terms “Adjournment” and “Adjournment Sine Die” and notes that the state Constitution titles both "Adjournment.”
"To hold otherwise would allow one chamber of the Legislature to thwart the constitutional responsibilities of the other Chamber of the Legislature. lawyers for the as members of the Legislature under the Constitution, notwithstanding what is termed “long-standing practice,'' they write.
The House submitted their response at 10 a.m. and the Senate Democrats responded by 12:32. Judging by the first paragraph if the Senate's response, it was replete with apparent typos -- an issue that drew a Twitter feud on Thursday.
Here's the Democrats' reply.