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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Court to hear question of whether legislators must testify on redistricting

In what promises to be a precedent-setting ruling over whether legislators can be shielded from testifying in a redistricting case, the Florida Supreme Court has agreed to hear a redistricting challenge brought by the League of Women Voters.

The League is asking the court to review an appellate court decision issued in May that allows legislators to be shielded from turning over documents and being questioned under oath by lawyers in a redistricting challenge.

On a 4-1 vote, with Chief Justice Ricky Polston and Justice James E.C Perry not voting, the court set oral arguments for Sept. 16. Justices Barbara Pariente, Perry Quince, R. Fred Lewis and Jorge Labarga agreed to hold the hearings. Justice Charles Canady dissented.

Lawyers for the House and Senate successfully argued before the First District Court of Appeals that legislators and their staff enjoy blanket immunity from being forced to turn over their work papers or testify regarding redistricting. 

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 6:31pm]

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