Redistricting ruling. Uncertainty. It's Florida

John Kennedy | 07/11/2014

Lawmakers and attorneys continued Friday to sift through a judge’s ruling which overturned Florida’s congressional district boundaries and cast a deep cloud over this fall’s elections.

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis declared the state’s congressional map unconstitutional Thursday, but offered no immediate guidelines on how or when the plan should be corrected.

With less than two months before the Aug. 26 primaries, a wide range of possible outcomes loomed. But some redistricting experts noted that since it involved Florida and elections, some level of chaos is virtually guaranteed.

“Anything can happen. But in Florida, isn’t that the case every time there’s an election?” said Justin Levitt, a constitutional law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, who writes the blog, All About Redistricting.

Indeed, county election officials today are slated to mail absentee ballots to military personnel and others overseas in advance of the primaries.

Congressional contests which appeared set two months ago, when candidate qualifying ended, now also are shrouded in uncertainty.

David King, an attorney for the voters’ groups which challenged the map drawn in 2012 by the Legislature, said he would file a motion with Lewis next week seeking clarity on how to proceed.

“Now we’re going to have a battle over the remedy,” King said. “We have an unconstitutional map. But it’s going to be fairly complicated to fix it.”

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