Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis on Friday rejected the Florida Legislature’s third attempt at redrawing its congressional districts and recommended a map proposed by the challengers to the Florida Supreme Court for its final review. Lewis adopted the bulk of the map approved by lawmakers in the northern and central portions of the state but specifically rejected the proposed boundaries for seven districts, including District 26 in Miami-Dade, now held by Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo, potentially unseating at least three incumbents congressional candidates and opening the door for others. Download Romo Order Recommending Adoption of Remedial Map
The challengers, a coalition of League of Women Voters and Common Cause of Florida and a group of Democrat-leaning individuals, agreed with Legislature’s configuration of 20 of the 27 districts proposed in a staff-drawn base map but asked the court to adopt their changes to the remaining districts. Lewis agreed.
“The Legislature has thus not met its burden of justifying the proposed versions of Districts 20 through 27,” he wrote in a 19-page ruling. He said that a map drawn by the challengers “best complies with the directions” set out by the Florida Supreme Court in July and “I therefore recommend its adoption.”
The recommendation will next go to the Florida Supreme Court will must review the maps, including the court testimony and record, and decide what will be the final boundaries for the 2016 election cycle.