Bad news for Florida Republicans who are trying to gerrymander and many GOP congressional districts as possible by shoving as many Democratic voters as they can into a few districts, limiting competitive congressional districts to a minimum. It seems the Florida Constitution bans such partisan shenanigans.
Judge rules Florida congressional map unconstitutional
By Sean Sullivan July 10 at 10:52 PM
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis said in his decision that the 5th and 10th congressional districts, represented by Reps. Corrine Brown (D) and Daniel Webster (R), run afoul of the Fair Districts amendment passed in 2010. Lewis said that the problems with the two districts make the entire map unconstitutional, even if many districts do not need to be redrawn.
Lewis's decision is expected to be appealed and it is not clear whether it will impact the 2014 elections by forcing new lines to be drawn before the election. The League of Women Voters of Florida brought the lawsuit forward.
In his decision, Lewis writes that Republican consultants "did in fact conspire to manipulate and influence the redistricting process" and "they made a mockery of the Legislature's proclaimed transparent and open process of redistricting."Great news! But it remains to be seen if this will affect the upcoming election this Fall.
The new lines were drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2012 following the release of decennial Census data.