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Dean Cannon says House to Join Appeal of Fair Districts

House Speaker Dean Cannon said the House has joined the appeal of a trial court's ruling that rejected the challenge to the Fair Districts' Amendment 6 by U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami.

Cannon said the judges conclusion is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution and included some factual inaccuracies that reflect a basic misapprehension of some key facts.

I think we have a strong legal argument, Cannon said. I think this argument isnt about this specific map or this specific year, its about defining the responsibilities of our state Legislature under our federal Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro rejected a lawsuit by Brown, Diaz-Balart and the House on Sept. 9. The lawsuit claimed that the new redistricting guidelines approved by voters in 2010 violate the U.S. Constitution's requirement that boundaries be drawn by state legislatures.

Brown and Diaz-Balart claimed the voter-imposed rules dilute the Legislatures authority.

The state Legislature continues to draw the congressional boundaries, following the new rules, Cannon said.

Cannon expects the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, to render its ruling after the state completes the redistricting process next summer.

The constitutional issues and questions of law raised are greater than the specific provisions of this amendment, Cannon said. We are asking the 11th Circuit to interpret the United States Constitution and to provide future legislatures with guidance lacking under the existing case law.

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