Fla. Supreme Court: Lawmakers Not Exempt From Testifying About Redistricting

Dec 13, 2013

Credit Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled lawmakers should not be exempt from testifying about the redistricting process in a lawsuit challenging the state’s Congressional maps. The court says the public’s interest in fair districts outweighs legislative privilege in this case.

The majority opinion written by Justice Barbara Pariente says lawmakers do have privilege from testifying in some cases, but when the issue is drawing Congressional districts fairly, the public must be able to know their intent. Voters approved constitutional amendments prohibiting the drawing of districts to favor a political party, and justices say that fairness can’t be gauged without seeing draft apportionment plans, communications with staff and testimony.

The case has been remanded back to circuit court.