A Florida judge is poised to unveil his plan for reshaping the state’s congressional boundaries, the latest chapter in a contentious and increasingly messy effort to strip away partisan politics from redistricting. At the instruction of the Florida Supreme Court, Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis is weighing seven proposals for redrawing boundaries advanced by the Republican-led legislative chambers and Democrat-allied voter groups. The state high court set a deadline of Oct. 17 for him to recommend a new map based on guidelines they issued in their ruling. Lawyers say Judge Lewis could release his plan as early as this week.
The outcome this month isn’t likely to threaten Republican power in the state where 17 of the 27 districts are controlled by the GOP. But it could have bearing on the political fate of a small handful of congressmen in south Florida, the locus of disagreement among the varying parties.
A main flash point is the fate of District 26 in Miami-Dade County, now held by U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Republican. The area leans Democrat, but Republicans say reshaping the lines to reflect the blue balance would diminish the voting power of Hispanic voters.
The judicial intervention follows a ruling this summer by the state high court rejecting congressional lines drawn by the Legislature. The justices said the lines failed to comply with new restrictions on political gerrymandering.
Full Article: Florida Judge to Unveil Redistricting Map – Law Blog – WSJ.