When you strip away 172 pages of the written Florida Supreme Court opinion that is forcing new districts to be drawn, what this all comes down to is a blatant admission that this entire state is grotesquely and dangerously corrupt. There are so many examples of the dangerous, grotesque and unconstitutional corruption that exist in this state right now, examples just springing off the top of my head involve the governor destroying public records (over and over and over) and the governor refusing to comply with virtually any obligations of disclosure…but I digress.
The judicial branch has been far too unwilling to fulfill their sacred obligation to defend the Constitutional rights of citizens….instead doing things like pushing that work off on the Florida Ethics Commission…(how ironically titled). But finally, the third branch steps in…
In this appeal involving legal issues of first impression, we review a trial court’s finding that the 2012 “redistricting process” and the “resulting map” apportioning Florida’s twenty-seven congressional districts were “taint[ed]” by unconstitutional intent to favor the Republican Party and incumbent lawmakers.Cognizant that this Court’s role is not to select a redistricting map that performs better for one political party or another, but is instead to uphold the purposes of the constitutional provision approved by Florida voters to outlaw partisan intent in redistricting, the crux of what we must decide is whether the trial court gave the appropriate legal effect to its finding that the Florida Legislature drew the state’s congressional districts in violation of the Florida Constitution.
Destroyed records. Shadowy projects with names like “Sputnik” and “Frankenstein.” And a college student whose identity was stolen to provide cover for political operatives.
Welcome to Florida, where the tentacles of gerrymandering are as tightly coiled around the statehouse as an invasive Burmese python.
Take Florida’s infamous 5th Congressional District, for example. It runs from near Jacksonville in the north, hooks east for a few miles, then west for a few miles, narrows to the width of an interstate highway for a while, cuts west all the way over to Gainesville, then swivels back east and southeast, finally arriving at Orlando, a distance of about 140 miles, sweeping in black neighborhoods along the way in order to create a “minority-majority” district.
It’s been described by a federal judge as “visually not compact,” “bizarrely shaped” and defying “traditional political boundaries” with what critics called “finger like extensions,” “narrow and bizarrely shaped tentacles” and “hook-like shapes.” It resembles no known species or geometric form. It does look an awful lot like the Potomac River from the air, however.