Any legal challenges stemming from the Florida Legislature’s third attempt at drawing congressional district boundaries next month was set for a late September hearing Monday. Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis set Sept. 24-25 for a hearing on a map lawmakers are expected to approve during a 12-day special session, set to begin Aug. 10. A trial on whether the state’s Senate boundaries also are unconstitutional is set to begin in Leon County on Sept. 25.
The state Supreme Court earlier this month ruled that eight districts, including those currently held by U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch, both Palm Beach County Democrats, were drawn to help the Republican Party maintain its dominance within Florida’s 27-member congressional delegation.
Voter-approved amendments to the state constitution bar districts from being drawn to help a party or incumbents retain office.
In their 5-2 decision, justices told the Legislature to bring the congressional map into compliance with the constitution. But in some districts, justices were precise in what they wanted done.