Florida legislators completed their fix of a congressional redistricting map Monday, sending the plan to Gov. Rick Scott for approval as they scramble to meet Friday’s deadline set by a state court. In an attempt to address the concerns by Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis, who said the map violated a constitutional ban on partisan gerrymandering, the legislature ended a three-day special session by moving 368,000 voters in North and Central Florida into new districts as it changed the boundaries of seven congressional seats. The House and Senate voted for the map along party lines, as a handful of Jacksonville Democrats voted with Republicans in solidarity with U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, a Jacksonville Democrat whose winding district was invalidated because it packed Democrats voters into the district so that Republicans in surrounding districts would face less competition. The new map makes the biggest changes to the districts now held by Brown, John Mica, R-Orlando, and Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden. Lewis ordered the Legislature to fix Districts 5 and 10, held by Brown and Webster, by Friday, saying they were in violation of the state’s Fair Districts rules. No South Florida districts were modified.
“If that is a Republican map, I’m proudly and utterly guilty of doing that,” said Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, the House Redistricting Committee chairman. “I have no doubt it will be found constitutional.”
But while the GOP legislative leaders praised themselves for creating a map that followed Lewis’ order, Democrats complained they were excluded and predicted the new map likely will be thrown out like the previous one.
“This was a dog-and-pony show, and unfortunately that’s what we’re going to send back to the judge on Friday,” said Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach.
Full Article: Arguing Florida Failed Again, Dems Want Court-Drawn Map.