Senate Map Challenge Allowed To Continue; Lawmakers To Testify About Drawing Districts


The lawmakers who re-drew Florida’s Senate districts last year will now have to testify in court, after a circuit judge ruled a lawsuit could continue on Thursday. The Florida Legislature wanted the judge to toss out the challenge, which alleges the maps were drawn to favor Republicans.

Last year was the first time the state got new districts since voters passed what are called the FairDistricts Amendments in 2010. They forbid lawmakers from intending to favor one political party over another.

Adam Schachter is a lawyer for the map challengers, including the Florida League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the National Council of La Raza. He said, “Judge Lewis’s ruling allows Floridians their day in court to challenge a redistricting map that, in our view, clearly violates the standards set forth in the constitution.”

Schachter said, if the map is thrown out, new districts would need to be drawn before the 2014 election. A parallel lawsuit challenging Florida’s congressional districts is also making its way through the courts.

Legal battle over state Senate districts coming to an end

TALLAHASSEE - A contentious battle over Florida state senate districts is coming to an end. read more »

Senate won't appeal redistricting ruling

Clearing the way for elections later this year with a map that could boost Democrats' numbers in the Senate, Republican leaders decided Wednesday not to appeal a Leon County judge's ruling setting districts for the chamber's 40 seats. read more »

Florida Senate won't appeal ruling on new districts

TALLAHASSEE — Senate leaders said Wednesday that they will not appeal last month's court ruling that sided with a voters' coalition in setting new district boundaries. read more »

Florida Legislature won't appeal redistricting ruling

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Legislature is giving up the fight and will not contest a court ruling that redraws all of the state's 40 state senate districts for the 2016 election cycle. read more »

Editorial: Republicans should accept redistricting defeat and drop talk of appeals

For a brief moment last week it appeared the Florida Legislature had come to its senses and was willing to accept a judge's ruling on the boundaries for new state Senate districts. read more »

Renumbering state Senate districts triggers political scramble

TALLAHASSEE — It may sound like a simple process, but the Florida Senate's random renumbering of all its districts statewide Tuesday touched off a series of complicated twists that one key lawmaker said only adds more chaos to a continuing redistricting saga. read more »