Following final passage in the Senate Thursday of the redistricting plan for the state’s congressional delegation, the Florida Democratic Party announced it had filed a lawsuit on the grounds that it violates the anti-gerrymandering Fair Districts amendments, approved by voters last fall.
New districts for the House, Senate and the Florida congressional delegation passed the House on party-line votes Friday, all but clearing the way for looming legal battles over whether the plans follow state anti-gerrymandering standards and federal civil rights laws.
A federal appellate court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, a Democrat, Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican, and the GOP-led Florida Legislature, challenging Amendment 6, approved by 63 percent of voters last November.
The House of Representatives panel charged with redrawing the state’s political boundaries will unveil a slate of options for the state’s congressional and state House districts Tuesday, setting the stage for discussions that could affect the balance of power in Florida for a decade.
Following months of criticism over the once-a-decade redistricting process, the Senate Reapportionment Committee released its proposed new maps Monday, receiving early push back from Democrats and other groups who expected the lines to be drawn more favorably to their interest. Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith blasted the proposed maps saying they were aimed at incumbent protection and partisan advantage, the very things which Florida’s Constitution prohibits.
As the 2011 redistricting process draws to a close, residents will have a final opportunity to offer their input at a public hearing on Monday during which Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the city council will be asked to accept the report of the Redistricting Advisory Board (RAB). At a workshop on Monday morning, chair of the 2011 RAB, Wayne Rich, formally presented the Final Report of a Recommended Plan for Redistricting to the City Council, which has the unanimous approval of the RAB.
The Redistricting Panels of the City of Orlando and Orange County got down to some decision making this week in the usual political hot-house. Public participation was minimal, but it should be noted that, (however small) it is way above previous years. Media is paying a little attention to the decisions about where districts lie, a questions which sets the playing field for the next decade.
Tonight the Orange County Redistricting Advisory Committee (RAC) met for the next to last time at the Orange County Administration building downtown. The committee has been involved in the process of redistricting for over 20 weeks now and we are finally about to reach a conclusion.