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Judge Rules Florida Congressional Maps Unconstitutional, Orders Them Redrawn


July 11, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando - A state judge ruled Thursday that Florida's Republican-controlled Legislature illegally drew the state's congressional districts and has ordered them redrawn.

It was the first legal test of a 2010 constitutional amendment approved by voters that says legislators can no longer map out districts to favor incumbents or a political party.

University of Central Florida political science professor Aubrey Jewett says the new ruling is not expected to disrupt this year's elections, because the Legislature is set to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

“I suspect what will happen is, if the Florida Supreme Court upholds this judge’s decision, then we will see things redrawn perhaps this coming year,” says Jewett, “and then the next regularly-scheduled set of elections, we would have new districts.”

Alternatively, the state Supreme Court could order special elections. Or they could strike down Thursday’s ruling and declare that the current maps are fair.

But Jewett says it’s more likely the maps will have to be redrawn in 2015.

 

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