Doubts about timing of redistricting ruling as session comes to an end

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It’s not clear when the Florida Supreme Court would have to rule on the House and Senate redistricting plans submitted by the Legislature, adding a layer of intrigue to the Friday finale of the 2012 session.

Under the state’s constitution, the court’s deadline would normally be 30 days from when Attorney General Pam Bondi filed that maps. That would place the court’s deadline over the weekend, meaning it’s not clear whether justices are supposed to rule by Friday or Monday, a court spokesman said in an email, suggesting that is one of the issues that the court has to wrestle with in making its decision.

Voting-rights groups say the maps do not follow the state’s antigerrymandering Fair Districts standards and should be thrown out, but the state says the justices should only check the maps for the most basic standards and leave the more difficult decisions for another day, when there is no deadline.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.