Senate trial ends with judge raising new questions
After eight rulings by the Florida Supreme Court and an admission of guilt by legislators, the Senate redistricting trial ended Thursday with a Tallahassee judge asking the parties to tell him their top choices for a new Senate map.
Leon County Circuit Court Judge George Reynolds now must decide whether to accept one of four proposals offered by the challengers — a coalition of the League of Women Voters, Common Cause of Florida and a group of Democrat-leaning individuals — or a map drawn by Senate staff but never voted on by the Legislature.
The challengers said Reynolds should pick one of two maps that create four Hispanic-majority districts in Miami-Dade County, boosting the number of Hispanic-dominated seats from three and opening the door to a Hispanic district dominated by Democrats.
The Senate’s lawyers, who operated solo during the four-day trial as the House sat on the sidelines, told the judge that if he rejects the Senate’s proposed map — the Senate’s first choice — they would like him to draw his own. The Senate offered up its map drawer to work with the plaintiffs’ map drawer to do the job. More here.