Members of Congress, candidates and political observers are grappling with the fallout of a judge’s Thursday ruling that two of the state’s congressional districts were illegally drawn for partisan reasons. Lawyers on Friday were preparing to ask Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis to move quickly to prescribe a remedy for the flawed map. Meanwhile, Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown blasted Lewis’s decision, while a former congressman blamed the ruling after pulling the plug on a comeback attempt. While Lewis declared that the GOP-dominated Legislature’s maps were unconstitutional under the state’s anti-gerrymandering standards approved by voters in 2010, he did not specifically lay out a fix for the districts. He could redraw the lines himself or order lawmakers to do it.
Most observers assume that the November elections would not be affected by Lewis’s decision. But there are even lingering questions about that.
“He’s held the maps unconstitutional, and you’re not supposed to have elections under an unconstitutional map,” David King, an attorney for voting-rights groups opposed the maps, said shortly after the ruling was handed down Thursday evening.
In a separate conversation Friday, King said his side would ask Lewis as soon as next week to issue a ruling on what needs to be done to correct the map.