TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Legislature illegally drew the state’s congressional districts to primarily benefit the Republican Party, a judge has ruled, and has ordered them redrawn.
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis said in a 41-page ruling Thursday that legislators relied on GOP political operatives who worked in secret to craft the final political maps adopted in 2012. In doing so Lewis rejected arguments from top legislative leaders that they had done nothing wrong during the process.
The ruling is not expected to disrupt this year’s elections because the Legislature is expected to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. But ultimately the changes could affect the political careers of Florida’s congressional delegation, which is currently dominated by Republicans.