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FL Newspapers Agree: Legislative Immunity is Wrong

Over the weekend a chorus of newspapers from across the state condemned the GOP’s attempt to grant themselves immunity from lawsuits pertaining to their gerrymandered and unconstitutional redistricting maps. As the FDP noted last week, this was a “cowardly move to conceal their own unconstitutional dealings from court review. If Republicans truly believed their maps would withstand court muster they wouldn’t be so concerned about ensuring immunity and avoiding questions.” See coverage below.

Intent to hide is obvious [Palm Beach Post Editorial] “State legislative leaders have crowed about the openness and transparency of their work this year to redraw congressional and state legislative districts, a contentious once-in-a-decade effort that was sure to draw criticism and a legal battle. But now that the work is finished and a lawsuit has been filed, they are scurrying to hide the details of the process from view.”

Redistricting veil would erode open government [Orlando Sentinel editorial] “It would be outrageous if lawmakers eroded that heritage — and flouted the will of the people — just to worm their way out of defending their redistricting maps.”

Absolute privilege? absolutely NOT [Miami Herald editorial] “Legislators should be willing to explain that in public and in court. This law simply goes too far.”

Is there no end [PNJ Editorial] “Legislators should be embarrassed to try to create such an imperial position for themselves, but this Legislature is proving shameless in serving its own interests. The leadership is worried about lawsuits coming over its efforts to bypass public will on redistricting, and how better to defend themselves in court … by not having to at all?”

Your right to know in danger [News-Press editorial] “The bill is hasty and ill-considered, threatens the public’s right to know how and why the Legislature does business, and would undermine people’s ability to challenge laws in court on their constitutionality.”

Another Power Play by Brazen Lawmakers [Tampa Bay Times editorial] “A suddenly appearing, proposed committee bill with no legislator’s name attached to it. One quick committee hearing. A straight shot to the full House as the session nears its usual frantic end. This is another sneaky attempt by brazen lawmakers to bend the law to benefit themselves, and it is an affront to Floridians who demand fairly drawn legislative districts and open government.”

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