It was a crisp mid-February day in the nation’s capital, but a hot topic at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee had a distinctly Sunshine State feel. A handful of Democratic political operatives, many of Florida’s congressional Democrats, and Nancy Pelosi, the House’s top Democrat from California, huddled in the offices of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2012 meeting to discuss an ongoing Florida redistricting lawsuit. On the agenda was an overview of the newest version of Florida’s congressional map, which was drawn as part of a lawsuit in a Tallahassee court challenging the redistricting process. Court documents and emails that are part of the redistricting lawsuit show that the map was drawn and paid for by Democratic consultants in consultation with the Florida Democratic Party, which is no longer involved in the lawsuit.
Redistricting is the once-a-decade chore that lawmakers must undertake to redraw state and federal political districts to meet population changes.
Days after the meeting, that map was submitted into evidence as an alternative plan as part of the lawsuit. The suit was officially filed by groups including the League of Women Voters of Florida and the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights group.
Plaintiffs in the case argue that congressional maps passed by lawmakers in 2012 are political documents that violate Amendment 6, one of the so-called “Fair District” amendments passed by voters in 2010. The amendments were an attempt to remove politics from the redistricting process by no longer allowing new maps to explicitly “favor or disfavor a political party.”
Full Article: State redistricting lawsuits get political.