Florida court to decide if legislators must testify

State Supreme Court justices skeptical toward questions for legislators

Published On: Sep 16 2013 11:31:08 AM EDT   Updated On: Sep 16 2013 12:38:37 PM EDT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Florida Supreme Court justices sound skeptical about whether state legislators must answer questions in a long-running political battle.

Groups suing over the way legislators drew new districts for the state Senate and Congress want to interview legislators. But lawyers for the Florida Legislature say such a move would violate a long-standing privilege that shields legislators from testifying in lawsuits.

The Supreme Court on Monday spent nearly an hour hearing arguments from both sides.

Several justices made it clear they would be reluctant to allow "open-ended" questions for legislators. But some justices said some limited questioning may be reasonable in redistricting cases.

The decision by the Supreme Court could play a pivotal role in the final outcome of the lawsuit that seeks to overturn the current districts.