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Senate Map Challenge Allowed To Continue; Lawmakers To Testify About Drawing Districts

The lawmakers who re-drew Florida’s Senate districts last year will now have to testify in court, after a circuit judge ruled a lawsuit could continue on Thursday.  The Florida Legislature wanted the judge to toss out the challenge, which alleges the maps were drawn to favor Republicans.

Last year was the first time the state got new districts since voters passed what are called the FairDistricts Amendments in 2010. They forbid lawmakers from intending to favor one political party over another.

Adam Schachter is a lawyer for the map challengers, including the Florida League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the National Council of La Raza. He said, “Judge Lewis’s ruling allows Floridians their day in court to challenge a redistricting map that, in our view, clearly violates the standards set forth in the constitution.”

Schachter said, if the map is thrown out, new districts would need to be drawn before the 2014 election. A parallel lawsuit challenging Florida’s congressional districts is also making its way through the courts.