Florida fight over gerrymandering continues

Florida circuit court judge Terry Lewis has said that he needs to confer with the Florida State Supreme Court before deciding what needs to be done to fix gerrymandering problems with the state’s congressional map.

In July 2014 Judge Lewis ruled that the Republican drawn map violated the 2010 “Fair Districts Florida” constitutional amendment which forbids favoritism for incumbents political parties in drawing legislative and congressional districts.

“I don’t feel I have the authority to do anything,” Lewis said. “I’m just going to ask them what they want me to do.”

Both the Florida House and Senate are controlled by the Republican Party, who have called emergency sessions scheduled for the coming weeks.

The  Florida legislators are hoping that the special sessions will allow them to redraw the maps in accordance with the state constitution before an October deadline.

It was Florida’s League of Women Voters who sued the State Legislature over violating the 2010 “Fair Districts” Amendment.

During a special session on Friday, both the House and the Senate re-drew versions of the Congressional map, but could not decide on a final product.

The House wants Judge Lewis to mediate the impasse, while the Senate hopes that another separate session will resolve the issue.


[New York Times] [Reuters] [NPR] [Think Progress]