redistricting

News Service of Florida

August will be back-to-Tallahassee time for state lawmakers.

Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli sent a joint memo to lawmakers Monday announcing that a court-ordered special session to redraw eight of the state's 27 congressional districts will begin Aug. 10 and run until Aug. 21 or until the completion of the new map.

flguardian2 / Flickr Creative Commons

Pointing to a time crunch, a Leon County circuit judge Wednesday gave the Florida Legislature little more than two months to draw new congressional districts and to defend them in court.

Judge George S. Reynolds III issued an order that said a special legislative session to redraw districts and a subsequent trial must be finished by Sept. 25. The order came after the Florida Supreme Court last week tossed out eight congressional districts because it found that lawmakers violated a 2010 constitutional amendment aimed at preventing gerrymandering.

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Don McDougall / flickr Creative Commons

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Legislature Says Fair Districts Amendment Is "Unenforceable"

Dec 23, 2014
apalapala/flickr

Lawyers for the Legislature told the Florida Supreme Court in a brief filed late Friday that part of a state ban on political gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution.

The filing is the latest chapter in a long-running battle over whether lawmakers rigged congressional districts during the 2012 redistricting process to benefit Republicans. Voting-rights organizations argue that the maps were influenced by politics, contrary to an amendment to the Florida Constitution approved by voters in 2010.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

New Congressional Map Won't Apply In November Elections

Aug 22, 2014
Florida House of Representatives / floridaredistricting.org

  A Leon County judge upheld a second draft of the state's congressional districts in a decision issued Friday, but shelved the new map until after the November elections.

The decision marked a major victory for legislative Republicans, who approved the new plan this month after Lewis ruled that their first draft violated the Florida Constitution's ban on political gerrymandering. The GOP had also pushed for the earlier version of the districts, approved in 2012, to remain in place through this year's elections.

Florida House of Representatives / floridaredistricting.org

  Plaintiffs say newly drawn congressional districts still favor Republicans and discourage black representation in Central Florida.

But the defense argued Wednesday before a judge the new districts follow his order and asked for his approval. 

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis had ruled the districts unlawfully favor Republicans and ordered the Legislature to redraw them. 

David King is a Central Florida attorney for the League of Women Voters and other groups suing over the districts. He rejects the argument the new districts protect black representation.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Nadege Green / WLRN

On the Florida Roundup,  Florida lawmakers' redraw the state’s Congressional districts. It’s now up to a judge if it will be used in the fall’s elections.

Gina Jordan/WLRN

The Florida Legislature met for less than 15 minutes on the first day of the special session on redistricting. Lawmakers are back in Tallahassee after a circuit judge tossed out the map they drew two years ago of Florida’s 27 congressional districts.

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