Leaders of a voter coalition contesting Florida’s congressional district boundaries are vowing to continue a court battle claiming that a new map approved on Monday fails to meet the state’s anti-gerrymandering rules.
“They’ve done this in a crafty way, to make sure the political result is not changed,” Tom Zehnder, an attorney for Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of Florida and some voters who challenged the current congressional districts, said of boundaries approved by state lawmakers along party lines on Monday.
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, who threw out the existing map last month, has a hearing set for Aug. 20 to consider the new boundaries.
The Republican-run legislature made relatively minor adjustments to the districts of U.S. Representatives Corrine Brown, a Jacksonville Democrat, and Daniel Webster, a Republican from Winter Garden, whose districts Lewis ruled were in violation of the state’s constitutional ban on gerrymandering to protect incumbents or favor either party.
The leadership ignored a much different map submitted by Common Cause and the League of Women Voters, which would have reduced minority voter concentration in Brown’s Jacksonville-Orlando district, while adding many more Hispanic and black voters to Webster’s district in the Orlando area.
What they are really unhappy with is that the map wasn’t redrawn exactly to their specifications. This will probably go on until it does get done, which is ridiculous. However, in the age of judicial activism, what say do the people or their representatives really have in anything.
I’ll be in Iceland.