McCollum criticizes redistricting proposal

By Chris Rizo | Jun 23, 2008

Bill McCollum (R)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline)-Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has voiced concern over a proposed constitutional amendment that would change how lawmakers draw legislative boundaries.

In a letter to the state Supreme Court, the Republican attorney general said Friday that a proposed ballot summary fails to adequately explain the proposal would require that congressional districts be comprised of contiguous territory.

That, he said, would outlaw the multi-member districts that are currently allowed.

"A constitutional amendment requiring single-member districts as the standard for congressional redistricting or apportionment would appear to be a significant change to the Constitution of which Florida voters should be advised," McCollum told the high court.

The ballot initiative is being pushed by FairDistrictsFlorida.org, which is co-chaired by former Democratic Gov. Bob Graham and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.

The group is essentially seeking to place on the 2010 ballot a constitutional ban against gerrymandering, where legislative boundaries are drawn to give political advantage to one party over another.

Typically, the result is oddly shaped districts that are drawn to wind through certain communities or neighborhoods while avoiding others.

The state Supreme Court will consider the petition to determine that it follows the single subject rule once the campaign collects 10 percent of the 611,000 signatures required to get on the ballot.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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