Voter groups appeal newly drawn congressional map in latest redistricting challenge
The coalition of voter groups that originally challenged maps draw during redistricting efforts in 2012 said they will also apeal newly draw maps approved earlier this month by a Leon County circuit court.
Last week, Judge Terry Lewis upheld the revised congressional map that the Legislature approved during a three-day special session. Lewis said the new map corrected what he had determined were violations of the state's Fair District rules against gerrymandering. The new map updated boundaries for congressional seats currently held by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, along with adjoining districts.
Lewis ruled that the new map would go into effect for the 2016 election. Both Brown and Webster are running for re-election now under the old boundary lines.
The coalition that originally challenged that map said the new one doesn't fix the issues they've raised and have criticized Lewis' ruling. They said the changes the Legislature approved to districts 5 and 10 didn't go far enough to fix the political gerrymandering.
The voter groups have now asked the state's First District Court of Appeal to look into Lewis's rulings. The coalition, which includes the League of Women Voters of Florida, the NAACP and Common Cause, makes it clear their fight is focused on changing the maps again in time for the 2016 election.
The First DCA has twice ruled against the voters groups on redistricting appeals, but the Florida Supreme Court has twice overturned those rulings.