Redistricting Litigation Update

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments on April 20, 2012, on whether the legislature’s state senate map passes muster under Florida’s Fair Districts Amendment.  The Supreme Court previously rejected the senate map, but approved the legislature’s house map.  If the court rejects the redrafted senate map, the court will be required to draft the senate map itself.  Meanwhile, a state circuit court in Tallahassee is considering challenges to the U.S. Congressional map drafted by the Florida Legislature.  The plaintiffs in that case allege that the congressional map violates the Florida Fair Districts Amendment.  Previously, federal courts rejected claims that the process used to draft the congressional redistricting map violated the U.S. Constitution.  Given that filing deadlines for candidates are rapidly approaching, a decision in both cases is expected soon.

 

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Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

About Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

Tom Shults is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and represents clients in election and sunshine law issues, complex business and commercial disputes and probate and trust suits. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983 and has maintained an active trial practice in state and federal courts for over 35 years. Tom represents candidates, political parties and political action committees in election disputes and election law litigation. He successfully represented the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections et al. v. Browning et al. , where the Florida Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Sarasota County’s charter election law amendments. Tom has served on the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar and is the past Chairman of the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Community Service Award of the Sarasota County Bar Association for his work with the Sarasota Mental Health Community Centers. In 2013 he was nominated for circuit court judge by the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. Tom has served on the faculty of the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law and on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Program for Practicing Lawyers at Nova Southeastern University School of Law. Tom grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School (1973), Florida State University (B.S. 1977) and Washburn University School of Law (J.D. cum laude 1982). He is veteran of the United States Army.
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