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Arrogant state House tries to throw out 'fair districts' rule

Hey, you and I are being sued for the way we voted in November.

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Well, in a sense.

Actually the state is being sued for the way that we voted. But of course that's costing us as taxpayers.

And who is taking us to court?

Our own state Legislature, or at least the House half of it.

The House wants a federal judge to throw out one of the "fair districts" amendments passed by Florida voters.

Let's recap.

The Florida House of Representatives.

That we just elected.

Is taking the state of Florida to federal court.

To overturn a constitutional amendment that was just passed by more than 60 percent of Florida voters.

At our expense.


To be precise, the House is trying to join a lawsuit already filed by two of Florida's members of Congress, who say among other things that the state amendment conflicts with the federal Voting Rights Act, which protects the rights of minorities.

There were two "fair districts" amendments passed in November, one for the Legislature, the other for Florida's seats in Congress.

Both declared that districts in Florida can no longer be drawn "to favor or disfavor" one political party or an incumbent politician.

In other words: no more "gerrymandering," the term for rigging a political map.

The state House's legal attack is against only the fair districts rule for Congress. It has not come up with a scheme yet for getting rid of fair districts for itself.

The House's claim is based on a phrase from the U.S. Constitution, which says in Article I, Section 4:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.

Notice that phrase, "the Legislature thereof."

Not the voters of a state. Not the state Constitution. The House's claim is that nobody else in Florida, and certainly not the idiot public, can get in the Legislature's way.

What the heck. Maybe they'll win.

Maybe they'll be able to throw out the will of the voters after all. Maybe they'll have a little party for themselves. Maybe a nice toast.

But I have a question for Dean Cannon, the speaker of the House of Representatives.

Are you proud of doing this?

Same question for every other member of the House, and especially the ones who just got elected.

Are you proud? Really? This is why you ran for office, so you could go to court to throw out what the people just told you to do?

Were the voters geniuses when they elected you, but ignorant fools when they got a little ways down the ballot and voted for fair districts too?

Here is the solution, if the House thinks there is something technically wrong with Amendment 6:

The House should adopt the identical standards for itself of its own volition.

The House should pledge to live up to what the people of Florida overwhelmingly said they wanted.

Instead of taking the people of Florida to court.

Really, you 120 members of the Florida House? This is your proud moment? This is your public service? This is why you ran for office? Really?

Arrogant state House tries to throw out 'fair districts' rule 01/26/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 6:46pm]
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