Appeals Court Sends Latest Redistricting Challenge To Florida Supreme Court

Oct 2, 2014

Before and After: The image on the left depicts congressional district 5 before the proposed changes. The small yellow circles indicate the changes in Marion county.
Credit Select Committee on Redistricting

More challenges to Florida’s recently redrawn congressional districts are winding through the judicial system. Now a divided appeals court wants the Florida Supreme Court to decide if the state's newest congressional map is legal.

Florida lawmakers redrew seven of the state’s 27 congressional districts in August after a judge determined the old map had been gerrymandered. A coalition of groups who had sued over the original map say the new version isn’t much better. And Democratic lawmakers claim Republicans left them out of the redrawing process.

Wednesday the First District Court of Appeal ruled 2-to-1 to send the case up to the Florida Supreme Court.

The revised and still-contested congressional district map won’t take effect this year.

Four years ago, voters approved a constitutional amendment banning legislators from drawing districts that favor incumbents or political parties. A circuit judge in July ruled that two congressional districts were invalid, leading state lawmakers to hold a special session to change some of the lines.