Florida Begins Third Attempt to Redraw Congressional Map Legislators convene a 12-day special session to meet state Supreme Court requiremen

Associated Press | The Wall Street Journal | 08/10/2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature, still angry at being forced into action by the state’s highest court, launched yet another bid on Monday to reshape the state’s congressional districts.

Legislators returned to the Capitol to kick off a 12-day special session to draw a new map that could make it difficult for several incumbent members of Congress to get re-elected. This is the third time lawmakers have worked on a congressional map since 2012.

The majority of Florida’s Supreme Court justices contended that the Legislature’s previous efforts were “tainted” by partisan influence and violated the “Fair Districts” standards approved by voters in 2010 to stop gerrymandered districts.

The court in July gave legislators 100 days to draw up a new map to have it in place before the 2016 elections.

The initial map drawn up by legislative staff and lawyers would lead to a dramatic shift of Florida’s political landscape. If ultimately adopted by legislators, several members of Congress—including U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and U.S. Rep. Dan Webster—could find it hard to hold on to their current seats. The new map could also help resurrect the political career of former Gov. Charlie Crist, who will likely mount a run for a reconfigured House seat in Pinellas County.


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