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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

What they're saying about Florida Supreme Court's redistricting rulings



House Speaker Dean Cannon: "We appreciate the preparation, thorough review and thoughtfulness of the court’s response. Throughout the redistricting process, the House demonstrated a commitment to following the letter of the law, and I am proud of Speaker-Designate Weatherford and all of our Members who worked so hard to craft this new map. We understand the difficulty of the court’s duty to review the application of new constitutional language. We appreciate the court providing input as their guidance will provide a great deal of help moving forward."

Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, who led House redistricting effort: “I am pleased the Florida Supreme Court agrees that the House Redistricting map meets the requirements of Florida’s constitution and is legally compliant.  The House map is the product of an unprecedented level of public outreach, committee meetings with members on both sides of the aisle and a careful and thorough review of our constitutional redistricting requirements. Our map prioritizes sound principles over politics and I’m proud of my colleagues for producing a legally compliant map that accurately reflects the wishes of residents from around the state.”

House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera: “The Florida Supreme Court has spoken loud and clear. Today’s unanimous decision affirming the constitutionality of the Florida House of Representatives redistricting map is a testament to our hardworking Republican leadership and their insistence to follow the law. We were continually falsely accused by House Democrats of injecting partisanship into the reapportionment process. It is evident now that their only goal was to advance their own political agenda, in contrast to our commitment to produce a constitutional House map for the people of Florida.  We followed the law and respected the will of the voters, and today the House Democrats’ claims and the attacks of outside partisan groups about the House map have been completely and utterly discredited by the Supreme Court of Florida.”

Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation: “Today’s state Supreme Court ruling rejecting as unconstitutional the proposed Senate district boundaries is an exciting victory for the people. As expected, this ruling confirms that the Senate map violates the people’s wishes to end extreme partisan gerrymandering. I applaud the court for recognizing the need to implement the will of Florida’s voters. In regards to the state House district boundaries, I respect the court’s decision and remain watchful of the reviews still pending. Meanwhile, I join my colleagues in the Florida House Democratic Caucus in saying that we look forward to returning to the task of drawing state Senate maps that comply with the people’s wishes as expressed in the Fair Districts amendments."

Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich: “The ruling by the Florida Supreme Court rejecting as unconstitutional the proposed Senate district lines underlined all of the warnings which went unheeded during the redistricting committee hearings and the ultimate vote. The Supreme Court saw the same troubling issues of discrimination and favoritism as the Senate Democrats who voted against these maps, and which go against every fiber of the Constitution’s new anti-gerrymandering amendments overwhelmingly passed by the majority of Florida’s voters. I urge the Senate, as it returns in a special session to redraw the rejected maps, to carefully heed that will, and submit fairer maps as the voters demanded.”

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith: “Today’s ruling is a victory for the people of Florida. This ruling confirms what we had anticipated, that the Senate map violated Fair Districts. We applaud the court for stepping in to implement the will of the voters of Florida. We look forward to getting down to the business of drawing maps that comply with the expectations of the people, as expressed in these constitutional amendments.”

[Last modified: Friday, March 9, 2012 12:18pm]


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