A panel of federal judges Monday shot down U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown‘s challenge of Florida’s congressional redistricting. In a 26-page order, the three judges said Brown had “not proven (her) case and that defendants are entitled to judgment in their favor.” The defendants include the League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause and others who last year forced a redrawing of Florida’s congressional district map. Brown had asked the court to set aside her redrawn seat, the 5th Congressional District. The Jacksonville Democrat has said her new district violates federal voting laws by cutting down the influence of minority voters. Instead, the judges rejected her request for a preliminary injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing the new district. But because their order “resolved the merits of this case,” the case is essentially over.
“Florida’s deadline for candidates to file papers to run for office in the upcoming election is June 24, 2016,” they wrote. “In order to allow time for any appeal of our order, we feel a responsibility to rule on the pending case now.”
“I am extremely disappointed in today’s ruling,” Brown said in a statement. “I am currently reviewing it with my attorneys, and will issue a longer, formal statement tomorrow (Tuesday).”
The decision also affects the 2nd Congressional District, which had been cannibalized to make the new 5th. Changes to the 2nd would remain unaffected, meaning it would become a decidedly Republican-leaning district.