A Florida judge was told Thursday that there is no practical way to redraw the state’s congressional districts before this year’s elections. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis held a hearing Thursday to consider what steps to take since ruling that the current congressional map is unconstitutional because two districts were drawn to benefit the Republican Party. Republican legislative leaders announced this week that they do not plan to appeal the ruling but they want Lewis to let them redraw districts after the November elections. Lawyers for the state Legislature, as well the state’s election supervisors and the state office that oversees elections told Lewis that voting has already begun in the state’s Aug. 26 primary.
… Florida has one of the latest scheduled primary elections held in the United States and there is a tight window between the primary and the Nov. 4 general election. The state’s handling of past elections has sparked national ridicule and court battles. Lewis himself was one of the judges involved in the legal challenges surrounding the 2000 presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore. Lewis did not make any decision during the 20-minute hearing and instead agreed to schedule a longer hearing next week.
The judge conceded that he had not considered the potential effect on the 2014 elections because he had assumed someone would appeal his landmark ruling. Lewis also noted that the state Supreme Court is considering an appeal on whether evidence should have been used during the 12-day trial held on the districts.
Full Article: Legislature asks judge to delay new map.