Fair Districts Now

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Fair Districts Now
Party:Nonpartisan
Website:Fair Districts Now
Fair Districts Now (previously known as "Fair Districts Florida") is an organization advocating for redistricting reform in Florida.

They supported two ballot proposals in 2010, both of which were passed by voters: Florida Legislative District Boundaries, Amendment 5 (2010) and Florida Congressional District Boundaries, Amendment 6 (2010).

Mission

Under their mission statement, Fair Districts Now states they "will provide support to Floridians who want to actively participate in the effort to be sure that Florida's districts are drawn in 2012 to benefit the people and not the politicians. Educating the public about the redistricting process and how citizens can participate is a primary goal along with using every method available, including the courts if necessary, to ensure that politicians follow the letter and spirit of the FairDistricts Amendments when they draw the district lines."[1]

Amendments 5 & 6

In 2010, Fair Districts Florida sponsored redistricting ballot amendments 5 and 6. While both were approved by voters, they continue to ignite controversy.


Fair Districts Florida commercial for Amendments 5 & 6


Florida Legislative District Boundaries, Amendment 5 (2010) amended the practice of drawing legislative district boundaries in such ways that they establish "fairness," are "as equal in population as feasible" and use "city, county and geographical boundaries." Florida Congressional District Boundaries, Amendment 6 (2010) amended the practice of drawing congressional district boundaries in such ways that they establish "fairness," are "as equal in population as feasible" and use "city, county and geographical boundaries."

On November 3, 2010, U.S. Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Corrine Brown challenged Amendment 6 in court, saying it violates the Voting Rights Act and "represents an impermissible effort by Florida to limit the discretion directly delegated by the United States Constitution to the Florida Legislature."[2] On January 24, the Florida House of Representatives formally filed to join the challenge against the congressional redistricting measure.

Pre-clearance

Following the House's entry into the issue, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott confirmed that the governor pulled a request for federal approval of Amendment 5 and Amendment 6. Scott told the news media, "One of the things that we're looking at is the amendments that were passed, how they're going to be implemented. We want to make sure that with regard to redistricting, it's fair, it's the right way of doing it. So it's something I'm clearly focused on."[3]

In response to the governor's action, supporters of Amendments 5 & 6 sued Scott. Former Florida Sen. Dan Gelber and current attorney for Fair Districts Now, supporters of the measures, said, "It's time to stop stonewalling. Governor Scott and Secretary Browning should not be abusing their power to frustrate the will of the 63 percent who voted for these reforms. The new standards must be sent to the Justice Department promptly to guarantee their implementation."[4]

See also

External links


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