Florida: Congressional Redistricting Map Moves Toward Court
Posted at 6:48 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2012
The Republican-controlled Florida Senate passed a redistricting map today, sending Congressional lines that cement a strong Republican majority in the delegation to Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) desk.
Democrats immediately announced they had filed a lawsuit alleging that the map violates a 2010 popularly enacted state constitutional amendment that prohibits crafting Congressional lines with “the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent.” Democrats blasted the state GOP, which also controls the state House.
“Republicans have undertaken the sort of incumbent protection and partisan gerrymandering that 63-percent of Florida voters overwhelmingly demanded must stop,” Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said in a statement. “Now the courts have to step in to implement the will of the people — a job the GOP in Tallahassee failed to accomplish.”
Jackie Schutz, a spokeswoman for Scott, said the governor had not yet received the bill but would review it when he did. She said he would make a decision on whether to sign it “within the statutory time frame.” Republicans expect him to sign it into law.
It’s unclear how likely a Democratic victory in the lawsuit is, but if the map passed today holds, Democrats are likely to pick up one to four seats, depending on their candidates and the climate.
The proposed lines have already led a number of incumbents to jump districts. And they may lead to one Member-versus-Member race between two Republicans. Still, if the map passed today is used for the fall elections, it will be a victory for Republicans. The GOP currently holds 19 of the Sunshine State’s 25 seats.