Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Judge OKs New Florida Congressional Map for 2016

A state judge upheld the Florida legislature’s newly revised congressional map Friday, ruling the redrawn House districts should apply to the 2016 elections.

“The 2014 elections will have to be held under the map as enacted in 2012,” Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis wrote in his ruling, siding with Florida lawmakers who argued that applying new district lines to this election cycle would create chaos.

The ruling allows the Aug. 26 primaries to continue as scheduled. Even so, the new map makes minor changes to the state’s House districts and will likely have a minimal effect in 2016 on the congressional delegation, where House Republicans currently outnumber Democrats 17 to 10.

But the plaintiffs in the redistricting case, including the League of Women Voters, indicated they are likely to appeal the judge’s ruling in a Friday statement.

“We are disappointed and plan to ask the appellate courts to review Judge Lewis’ ruling,” said David King, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs argued that the legislature’s new map violated the state’s constitution. The plaintiffs also said new districts should apply to the upcoming midterms since the current district lines were deemed invalid.

In July, Lewis ruled that congressional districts 5 and 10 violated the state constitution, which prohibits drawing districts to favor a political party or incumbent. The 5th is represented by Democrat Corrine Brown and the 10th is represented by Republican Daniel Webster.

Five other House districts were affected by the newly redrawn map. The GOP districts are represented by Ron DeSantis in the 6th; John L. Mica in the 7th; Rich Nugent in the 11th, and Tom Rooney in the 17th. The other Democrat affected by the new map is Alan Grayson in the 9th District.

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  • BoatingExpert

    There is nothing so dull to the average voter as redistricting. Yet nothing else is as important to America’s political future.

    Did you ever wonder why, after 200 years as a nation, suddenly in the 1990s and early 2000s Congress ceased to work? Did you ever wonder where civility went in the halls of the House of Representatives? Did you ever wonder why Congress is completely ineffective as an institution? Gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is redistricting gone wild. Gerrymandering is the modern equivalent of apartheid. Gerrymandering takes the Martin Luther King quote “I have a dream that one day men will be judged not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character,” and turns it on its head. When a district is gerrymandered, the USDOJ (which is, in the end, the party behind all gerrymandering) is saying not only does race matter, it is the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS.

    This is a sad day for our nation.

  • BoatingExpert

    Judge Lewis Gave Up. He Surrendered. Judge Lewis, who had been bold in his earlier decisions, chickened out. The new district remains, what this district has always been, a non-compact, gerrymandered district, which violates the new Florida Constitutional Amendment against gerrymandering.

    The “new” District 5 has a Reock score of .127. While that doesn’t mean much to you, just understand that .127 means that the district is horribly gerrymandered.

    What Judge Lewis also did, is back down on his earlier Gingles finding that the African American population in Northeast Florida is not sufficiently large and geographically compact to warrant the creation of a “minority influence district.” He simply gave up. He simply threw up his hands and decided that you can’t fight for what is right in the face of so much opposition.

    And so it goes. Gerrymandering lives on, and the Florida voters are once again subjected to the modern equivalent of apartheid.

  • davefel

    The judge has already gone on record saying the maps were illegal and gerrymandered. The embarrassment to Florida
    and the harm has already been done. Good job Republicans. This state
    is a joke and the rest of the country now has more fodder for jokes.

  • Rhonda Simms

    Umm you realize that Florida voted for Obama twice, right?

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