Fight Over Congressional Districts Heads To Miami (Sort Of)

Sep 24, 2015

Judge Terry Lewis questioning Jason Poreda.
Credit The Florida Channel

A series of court hearings began Thursday to determine which congressional map will go before the Supreme Court for approval.  Up to this point, arguments have primarily focused on districts in North and Central Florida.  But now the arguments center on two south Florida districts.

In a July order, the Florida Supreme Court directed state lawmakers to revise 8 congressional districts.  Among them are CD26 and CD27 in the Miami area.  The justices ruled Homestead was split to benefit the Republican Party, and must be kept whole.  Legislative drafts keep the city together, but attorney for the plaintiffs David King says the border is still drawn to serve a partisan interest.

“They didn’t split Homestead,” King says, “but they fixed it in a way that it performs even better for the Republican Party than it did before.  That’s what we’re concerned about.”

House mapper Jason Poreda testified he and other staffers tested drafts with Homestead in CD26 and CD27.  After ensuring neither option diluted the Hispanic community, Poreda says the drafters chose the map based on compactness.