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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Can Reps Diaz-Balart, Brown sue to block Fair Districts amendments

Democrat Corrine Brown of Jacksonville and Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami, both U.S. reps., have filed suit to halt the redistricting Constitutional amendment placed on the ballot by the liberal-leaning Fair Districts Florida group. Allies of Fair Districts last week sued to block the Legislature's response to their amendments. More here on all the background.

Brown and Diaz-Balart say the Fair Districts amendment "creates false expectations and promises" and hurts minority voters (so what if the NAACP backs Fair Districts). They didn't bother attaching their lawsuit to the press release, so it's not here for your perusal.

Fair Districts already survived a court challenge and was deemed ok for the ballot by the Florida Supreme Court. This lawsuit, therefore, would have to raise new issues, such as the Bartlett vs. Strickland case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court after Fair Districts qualified for the ballot. The Bartlett case laid out new guidelines for drawing so-called "minority-access districts" -- those districts with loads of minorities who nevertheless comprise less than 50 percent of the vote.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:39am]


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