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Congresswoman files new lawsuit to block redistricting

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, has filed a new federal lawsuit to stop a proposed redistricting plan that would dramatically change her Congressional District.

"Today, I filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking relief against the continued use of any congressional redistricting plan that dilutes the voting strength of African Americans," Brown said.

The percentage of black resident of voting age population would decrease under a proposed new configuration of Brown's 5th Congressional District. Currently, Brown's district runs from Jacksonville through parts of Gainesville and into Orlando. The Legislature is proposing to redraw the district as prescribed by the state Supreme Court to instead stretch west from Jacksonville into Tallahassee.

"District 5 in Florida and minority access districts across the nation cannot, and will not be eliminated, particularly after the hard fought civil rights gains we have made during the last 50 years," Brown said. "As a people, African Americans have fought too hard to get to where we are now, and we certainly are not taking any steps backwards."

Her suit comes as the Florida Legislature is into the third day of a 12-day special session to redraw the state's congressional districts after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that some of the current districts violated the state constitution's prohibition against drawing districts with the intent to favor of disfavor incumbents or political parties.

Brown warned in a press conference last week that she intended to call on the federal courts to intervene.

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