Florida Special Session

The Florida Legislature will reconvene August 10 for a 12-day special session, during which they will attempt to redraw the state’s congressional districts. This session marks the second time that lawmakers will redraw the lines in as many years due to legal challenges and comes almost a year to the date since the last redistricting. The Florida Supreme Court threw out the current map – itself a response to a circuit court judge’s ruling – on July 9, on the grounds that it favored Republicans and incumbents in violation of the Fair Districts Amendment to the Florida Constitution that voters passed in 2010.

Senate President Andy Gardiner (R) and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R), intent on avoiding any possibility of gerrymandering that could invalidate the state’s districts a third time, have instructed lawmakers involved in the redistricting process and their staff by communicating only with lawyers and reporting any attempts by legislators to sway the map in their favor or their party’s favor. The leadership also barred relevant lawmakers and their staff from communicating with any member of Congress, congressional staff, or political parties. Gardiner and Crisafulli’s official proclamation can be read in full here.