Florida Supreme Court approves new congressional map

  • Florida Supreme Court approves new congressional map

Florida Supreme Court approves new congressional map

The Central Florida district held by Rep. Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, has been carved into other districts, and South Florida incumbent Democrats are paired against each other in two redrawn districts. The districts are generally more compact and more successful in keeping counties and cities whole, and they should not compromise the ability of minority voters to elect candidates of their choice.

Pariente also authored the landmark ruling in July that said Florida's 27 congressional districts used in the 2012 and 2014 elections were invalid because lawmakers had allowed improper interference by political operatives in violation of the Fair Districts amendments to the state constitution.

Though, some Democratic lawmakers did personally benefited from the previous maps.

"Beyond a doubt, today's ruling and the proposed congressional map is a direct attack on minority voters and a clear example of voter retrogression and disenfranchisement", Brown said. Justice Ricky Polston sharply criticized the decision because Lewis had relied on a map that was drawn with the help of a firm that works for Democratic candidates.

The Florida Supreme Court is taking up a long-running legal dispute that could result in slot machines being added at dog and horse tracks across the state.

Some hope the ruling will end almost four years of lawsuits, hearings and special sessions over the districts that have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

The new congressional map is more of a mixed bag for Hillsborough, which is carved into four districts and likely will have only one member of Congress calling the county home. The reconfigured map could give Democrats an opportunity to pick up two seats.

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, also would see his District 20 Hendry County in exchange for gaining a larger portion of Broward. Former Governor Charlie Crist subsequently jumped into the race to fill Jolly's seat, joining Democrat Eric Lynn in a Democratic primary.

Lewis recommended a new congressional map in October.

Every ten years the state legislature is entrusted with redrawing the boundaries of both state and federal congressional districts to account for changes in population. So a coalition of voting rights groups, including the League of Women Voters, sued. The court approved the new map in a 5-to-2 decision.

They failed; cronyism this, protecting-one's-own-political-future-at-the-expense-of-democracy that.

The Legislature's first approved map was declared unconstitutional by Lewis in 2013, who ruled that interference by Republican consultants had "made a mockery" of voter-approved anti-gerrymandering constitutional standards.