NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2011 Contact: Eric Jotkoff, (850) 222-3411
Florida Democratic Legislators Fight To Protect Will Of Voters On Standards Of Fairness Enshrined In Constitution
The Florida Democratic Party announced today that five Democratic State House and State Senate members have petitioned to intervene in support of the Fair District Amendment in an effort to protect the standards of fairness in the Florida Constitution by nearly 63% of voters last fall.
The legislators include Sen. Arthenia Joyner, Rep. Janet Cruz, Rep. Luis Garcia, Rep. Joe Gibbons, and Rep. Perry Thurston.
“Florida Democrats will not sit back and allow the will of nearly 63% of Floridians to be frustrated or delayed by those who simply seek to deny Floridians fair elections in fair districts,” said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith. “I applaud our Democratic legislators for their efforts to protect the standards of fairness Floridians enshrined in our Constitution.”
“I have worked all my life to protect the rights of voters, which is why I am standing up today to protect the Fair District amendment to continue that fight,” said Sen. Arthenia Joyner.
“My constituents and people all across the state have demanded an end to the usual gerrymandering power grab. It’s simply common sense that I would stand with Florida voters to protect their rights,” said Rep. Janet Cruz.
“I am thrilled to fight for the Fair Districts amendment because Florida must honor the public’s demand for congressional and legislative districts that are compact, contiguous and allow for fair representation for minorities,” said Rep. Joe Gibbons.
“The Fair Districts amendment will protect a basic promise in our state constitution that all political power will reside in the people. The legal maneuvers to attack this amendment are merely a thinly veiled attempt to undermine minority voting rights,” said Rep. Perry Thurston.
“Every ten years, politicians try to rig the political playing field by carving out districts designed to keep them in power. I trust that the courts will protect the public’s decision to establish fair and impartial standards for redrawing political boundary lines,” said Rep. Luis Garcia.
These legislators will be represented by the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner in this effort.
The Florida Democratic Party has also appointed Joseph W. Hatchett, former Florida Supreme Court Justice and later United States Court of Appeals Judge, as Special Counsel for Redistricting. Currently, Judge Hatchett is with the Akerman Senterfitt law firm where he serves as Co-Chair of Akerman’s Appellate practice.
A .pdf copy of the Motion to Intervene can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/ebVYHB
A .pdf copy of the Memorandum in Support can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/eYZnnY