You may recall, dear reader, that the Senate’s first cut at
redistricting after the 2010 census was in obvious violation of Florida’s Fair
Districts requirements. Just the numbering of the districts (which
systematically granted to certain incumbents the privilege of running for three
consecutive Senate terms rather than two, and the potential to serve a total of
10 years, rather than the eight years state term limits were designed to
enforce) made it obvious that the maps were drawn (and numbered) to benefit
those incumbents and a certain political party.
The second cut passed initial review. But it has become the
subject of a lawsuit brought by a coalition of groups, led by the League of
Women Voters, on the grounds that the map still privileges certain partisan and
incumbent interests in violation of the state constitution.
The trial on the merits of these allegations was scheduled
for late September of this year. Given the long and winding process we have
witnessed for the suit against the way the congressional districts were drawn,
one could have anticipated that, even if the petitioners prevailed, we might
not have seen new districts until shortly before the next census.