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Judge tosses Fair Districts challenge

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-985589.mp3

Tallahassee, FL –
A federal judge in Miami has thrown out a challenge to Florida's anti-gerrymandering amendments that voters approved last year. Lynn Hatter reports the suit was brought by two members of Florida's congressional delegation.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Congressman Mario Diaz Balart and the Florida House of Representatives claimed only the legislature has the ability to draw district lines. That would invalidate the amendments. But Federal district judge Ursula Ungaro rejected that claim. Dan Gelber is the general counsel for the Fair Districts group, which spearheaded the effort to get the amendments onto the ballot.

"My hope is that with the very resounding ruling, the legislature and the elected officials who are fighting the reforms, will get the idea that they need to get with the program and do what the people told them to do."

Meanwhile Reps Brown and Diaz Balart say they plan to keep fighting the amendments all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.