“Jiggery-Pokery” in Today’s Florida Supreme Court Redistricting Opinion

From the opinion:


A reader of Justice Canady’s dissent in isolation could be forgiven for believing that this Court’s decision here amounts to a creative maneuver designed to overstep its proper bounds, done in order to usurp the Legislature’s role in the redistricting process. The dissent’s attacks on this Court’s analysis are extravagant, even when measured against prior dissenting opinions in our recent redistricting cases that have accused this Court of devising “a radical alteration in the operation of the separation of powers.” Apportionment IV, 132 So. 3d at 160 (Canady, J., dissenting). The barrage of epithets employed by the dissent includes the following colorful array: “fallacious”; “fabricated”; “extreme distortion”; “revolutionary deformation”; “teeming with judicial overreaching”; “creatively cobbled”; “aggressive invasion”; “aberrant decision”; and “unprecedented incursions.”20 Dissenting op. at 110, 111, 112, 117, 127.

20. Perhaps we should take solace in not being accused of “jiggery-pokery.” See King v. Burwell, No. 14-114, 2015 WL 2473448, at *19 (U.S. June 25, 2015) (Scalia, J., dissenting).

Of course, we categorically reject the dissent’s many derisive criticisms. And we point out that the dissent’s overblown claims that this Court has violated the separation of powers, and has done away with the presumption of constitutionality applied to legislative acts in the redistricting context, are in fact nothing new. In Apportionment I, the dissent repeatedly chastised this Court for “cast[ing] aside the presumption of constitutionality.” Apportionment I, 83 So. 3d at 696 (Canady, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). In Apportionment III, the dissent charged that this Court had “la[id] the groundwork for the unrestrained judicial intrusion” into the redistricting process. Apportionment III, 118 So. 3d at 218 (Canady, J., dissenting) (internal quotation omitted). And in Apportionment IV, the dissent hyperbolically accused this Court of “grievously violat[ing] the constitutional separation of powers.” Apportionment IV, 132 So. 3d at 156 (Canady, J., dissenting).

My emphasis.

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