The second draft of the Legislature’s redistricting plan for the state Senate answered all of the objections of the Florida Supreme Court to the first proposal and should get justices’ approval, according to a Senate brief in the case. The brief, filed in response to complaints by the Florida Democratic Party, a coalition of voting-rights groups and the NAACP, came a week before oral arguments on the plan before the court. Also on Friday, the justices issued an order dividing two hours of arguments among the Senate and the groups opposing the plan. Lawyers for the upper chamber argued in the 100-page filing that the new plan, approved by the Legislature after justices rejected the first draft, “addressed each of the flaws this court found.”
The court threw out the Senate maps as part of its first review of redistricting proposals under the anti-gerrymandering Fair Districts standards, approved by voters in a November 2010 referendum. The brief also flayed the arguments raised by the opponents, saying that many of them attempt to draw the court into reconsidering districts that passed in the first review.
“The issue is whether the Legislature complied with the court’s specific mandate, not whether other districts that this court either did not find invalid or specifically found valid comply with constitutional standards,” the brief says.