Florida Redistricting Showdown Today in Court

Public News Service | Public News Service | 09/24/2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The latest round in the fight to end gerrymandering in Florida starts today with a hearing before a circuit court judge in Tallahassee.

The judge will have to choose which map best conforms to the constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2010 that mandated districts be drawn without partisan advantage.

Pamela Goodman, president of the League of Women Voters Florida, is part of a coalition that sued the Legislature, saying the boundaries established in 2012 are unfair.

"They did not follow the mandate to not favor a political party, to not protect incumbents, to be compact, to be contiguous, to follow geographic boundaries and all of the standards that the legislators were asked to follow," she states.

The Legislature was unable to hammer out new maps at a special session this summer, so the issue wound up back in the courts.

Goodman says her group is not trying to gain advantage for one party over another.

"So our goal is not to move more centrist, move more Republican or move more Democratic,” she stresses. “Our goal as a nonpartisan organization is to make sure the process is done lawfully, fairly, with credibility."

The judge has until Oct. 17 to make a recommendation to the Florida Supreme Court, which will make the final decision.

The reconfigured congressional districts are expected to take effect before the state primary in August 2016.

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