Florida governor sued for barring redistricting amendments
TALLAHASSEE, Florida: Legal challenges regarding two redistricting amendments continue to develop. On Thursday, February 3, 2011 supporters of Florida Legislative District Boundaries, Amendment 5 and Florida Congressional District Boundaries, Amendment 6 filed a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott.
The lawsuit developed following news that Gov. Scott pulled a request for federal approval of Amendment 5 and Amendment 6. Scott is reported to have acted three days after taking office on January 4, 2011.
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."
The paperwork for approval of the measures had been filed December 10, 2010 by former Gov. Charlie Crist. According to the federal Voting Rights Act, the state of Florida is required to receive "pre-clearance" of changes to its election laws that affect minority rights.
In response to the lawsuit Brian Hughes, the governor's spokesperson, said that the governor's actions have not delayed redistricting in the state. Additionally, Hughes noted that the Florida State Legislature is currently months away from working on state redistricting and the governor is using the time to "have thoughtful consideration of the policy."