Florida Supreme Court ready to start hearing redistricting complaints

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A full two months before Florida lawmakers are likely to pass the final version of new legislative maps, the state Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an order setting the guidelines for how complaints about the maps are to be filed and considered, reports Aaron Deslatte of the Orlando Sentinel.

The high court will be tasked with reviewing legislative maps — state House and Senate districts — after lawmakers pass them, and before qualifying for public offices begins in June.

What’s new this time, the order notes, is that the court will also have to consider whether lawmakers adhered to the Fair Districts standards, which include protecting racial and language minorities, and drawing maps compactly without the intent of protecting incumbents or political parties. The order specifies that in order to comply with the constitutional requirement that the court ”permit adversary interests to present their views,” the court will start accepting written comments (but no emails) and schedule oral arguments “by such number of persons as the Court shall deem appropriate to present the issue fully.”

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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.