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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Haridopolos on Fair Districts: Lawsuit possible, but 'the voters spoke'

4

November

A day after a new constiutional amendment on redistricting was challenged in federal court, incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos told reporters that a legal challenge to a companion amendment is not off the table, but that he will work to implement the new provisions to the Constitution. “I think that’s still something we’re going to look at,” he said. “But the voters spoke and I respect that very much.”

The Fair Districts citizen amendments added restrictions on the Legislature as lawmakers draw new boundaries for legislative and congressional seats -- with the hope of creating more competitive districts. Haridopolos argues that the standards are unworkable. “To their credit, they had a great bumper sticker, and they put $10 million into it,” he said.

“But my first responsibility is to the United States Constitution,” he said, in a reference to a supremacy clause claim in a lawsuit against the amendment concerning seats in Congress. “That’s where this will be challenged in the courts by a variety of groups who have said pretty consistently that there’s inherent contradictions.”

He added: “We don’t want this to be a rigged game when we start to actually draw the lines and just know they’re going to challenge it and win in the courts, then we get our second run at it. We’re going to draw it and they’re going to win in the courts. We’ve seen already a very activist court. We’ll see how that plays out.”

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[Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 2:21pm]

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