U.S. Courthouse Tallahassee, FL
Ebyabe via wikimedia commons

The American Civil Liberties Union has notched a win in a prison gerrymandering case out of Jefferson County.  The organization says counting prisoners dilutes voting power in surrounding areas, and for the first time, a federal judge agrees.

Civil rights activists are challenging Jefferson County's municipal districts in federal court.
Jenn Greiving via Wikimedia Commons

On its face, the one person one vote principle seems simple.  But reports a federal case against Jefferson County is a reminder the devil is in the details.

Blaise Gainey / WFSU

A group of activists are asking a Florida judge to toss the state’s congressional voting maps. They argue the maps amount to gerrymandering—and that political operatives influenced state legislators to draw districts favoring one political group over another. Halfway through the trial legislative leaders, staffers and operatives are pointing the finger at each other.

Gerrymandering vs. Equal Access

Christopher Ingraham via Twitter

This week a landmark trial began in the case challenging Florida’s congressional district boundaries. A judge is weighing whether lawmakers violated the state constitution by drawing districts to favor political interests—a practice known as gerrymandering.

Lawyers for the Florida Legislature are asking a judge to exempt lawmakers from being called to testify about drawing legislative districts. The Wednesday circuit court hearing was part of an ongoing legal challenge to Florida’s legislative maps by several voting rights groups and backed by the Florida Democratic Party.

Lawyer for the Republican-led Florida Legislature, George Meros, says, the legislative maps approved this year were drawn according to state law.

Capital Report: 02-01-2012

Feb 1, 2012

Today (Tuesday), Republican Senator Mike Fasano of New Port Richey was removed of his chairmanship on the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Committee by Senate President Mike Haridpolos. Political insiders agree it was all because Fasano was against efforts to privatize Florida’s prison system, a priority of Legislative leadership. I decided to give Fasano a call to find out what really happened…