|State website:||www.floridaredistricting.org, Florida House, Florida Senate|
|2010-cycle districts:||Congress, State Senate, State House « NEW|
Congress, State Senate, State House
|Primary governing law:||Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 16, 20, 21|
The ballot initiatives known as Amendments 5 and 6 (which became Art. III, §§ 20 and 21 of the Florida Constitution when passed in 2010), were precleared by the Department of Justice on May 31, 2011. A challenge to Amendment 6 was rejected on September 9; the decision was affirmed on January 31.
Congress: On February 9, 2012, the state legislature passed SB 1174, which was signed on Feb. 16. The plan was precleared on April 30, 2012. On July 10, 2014, the congressional plan was struck down in state court with respect to two districts. Pursuant to the court's order, the state legislature passed SB 2-A on August 11, which was signed on August 13. The court ruled that the new map was valid for 2016, but 2014 elections were held under the 2012 map. The case went up on appeal; on July 9, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court held that substantially more portions of the 2012 map were invalid, and returned the case for a more extensive redrawing of the lines before the 2016 election. A special session ended on August 21, 2015, without an agreed plan; the legislature has now asked the Florida trial court to redraw the lines.
State leg.: On February 9, 2012, the state legislature passed SJR 1176, a joint resolution the governor need not sign. On March 9, the state Supreme Court approved state House districts and struck down the state Senate plan. On March 27, 2012, the state legislature passed SJR 2-B (a revised Senate plan), which was approved by the state Supreme Court. The House and Senate plans were both precleared on April 30, 2012. On July 28, 2015, in the face of a court challenge, the Senate admitted that the new plan was again drawn with an undue influence of partisanship, and agreed to redraw the plan by November 9, 2015.
Redistricting political control:
Governor State Senate State House Congressional lines R 12 D, 28 R 39 D, 81 R (could override veto) State legislative lines 12 D, 28 R 39 D, 81 R 2000 cong. lines R 15 D, 25 R 43 D, 77 R 2000 state lines 15 D, 25 R 43 D, 77 R
Florida's congressional lines are drawn by the legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto; the state legislative lines are drawn by the legislature and passed as a joint resolution, which is not subject to gubernatorial veto. The members of the legislative committees responsible for redistricting are available here.
The state legislative plan is automatically sent to the Florida Supreme Court for review; if the plan is unlawful, the Court will allow the legislature another opportunity to redraw the lines. Similarly, if the legislature does not develop a map, the Attorney General must ask the state Supreme Court to draw the legislative district lines. No similar provision exists for congressional lines. [Fla. Const. art. III, § 16(b)-(e)]
Census data were delivered to Florida on March 17, 2011.
Florida state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by May 4, 2012. [Fla. Stat. § 99.061(1)]
State legislative lines must be drawn in the legislative session in the second year after the federal Census is conducted; that session begins on March 6, 2012, and ends May 4, 2012. If the legislature does not meet this deadline, it will be reconvened in a special 30-day session to draw legislative districts; if it again fails to pass a plan, the Attorney General must ask the state Supreme Court to draw the district lines. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 3, 16(a)-(b)] Candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by June 22, 2012. [Fla. Stat. § 99.061(1)]
Florida law ties the drawing of state legislative lines to the Census, and might therefore be construed to prohibit redrawing lines mid-decade; there is no similar provision pertaining to congressional lines. [Fla. Const. art. III, § 16(a)]
- Public input
The legislature planned to hold roughly 30 public hearings throughout the state to consider public input on redistricting. Meetings of the relevant legislative committees are archived here; committee meetings are also recorded on video.
The legislature will use a web-based district building application (more information here), which the public can also use to submit plans for consideration. Information regarding the application can also be obtained through social media: Facebook, Twitter (@FLRedistricting), Youtube.
Like all states, Florida must comply with constitutional equal population requirements. State law further asks that districts be as nearly equal in population as is practicable, if doing so does not interfere with minority rights. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 20(b), 21(b)]
Florida must also, like all states, abide by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Because five Florida counties (Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, and Monroe) are considered "covered jurisdictions" under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Florida has an obligation to submit redistricting plans to the Department of Justice or to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to ensure that the plans do not discriminate against minority communities in those counties. State law further requires that districts "not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice." This latter provision has not yet been construed by the courts. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 20(a), 21(a)]
Florida law also provides additional constraints for both state legislative and congressional districts. Districts must be contiguous, and where doing so does not conflict with minority rights, must be compact and utilize existing political and geographical boundaries where feasible. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 20(a)-(b), 21(a)-(b)] Districts may also overlap. [Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 16(a)]
- 2010 cycle cases
Due to the volume of filings, information on the Florida cases is located on a separate litigation page, here.
- 2000 cycle
In the 2000 redistricting cycle, Florida's legislature passed state legislative maps on March 28, 2002; the state Senate plan was precleared on June 20, 2002, but the state House plan drew an objection from the Department of Justice. A federal court modified the state House plan, based on the House Speaker's proposed amendment to the legislative plan; this plan was later adopted by the legislature, and precleared on February 2, 2004.
The state legislative plans were automatically submitted to state court, and upheld. Both the legislative plans and the congressional plan were also challenged in federal court, and both were ultimately upheld. [In re Constitutionality of House Joint Resolution 25E, 863 So.2d 1176 (Fla. 2003); In re Constitutionality of House Joint Resolution 1987, 817 So.2d 819 (Fla. 2002); Martinez v. Bush, 234 F. Supp. 2d 1275 (S.D. Fla. 2002)]
- Other state links