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First Coast Connect

Judge Hears Arguments On New Congressional Map


Tallahassee Circuit Judge Terry Lewis said Wednesday that he will soon make a decision in the lawsuit over Florida’s Congressional district maps.

In July, Lewis ruled that maps drawn by the Florida legislature in 2012 had violated anti-gerrymandering amendments adopted by voters in 2010, and that they were designed to give an unfair advantage to Republicans. He ordered the maps to be redrawn.

Lawmakers say they have done everything they were required to do with a new draft of the map that was approved by the Legislature in a special session in August.

A coalition of voting rights groups, though, say the new map is still flawed, and have urged Lewis to throw it out.

At the center of the fight are the districts of North Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Orlando Congressman Dan Webster.

Brown’s district, which runs from Jacksonville to Orlando, is often called the most gerrymandered in the nation.

Dr. Nicholas Seabrook, Assistant Professor of political science at UNF, joined First Coast Connect guest host Karen Feagins to discuss the history behind this lawsuit and what it could mean for voters.

You can follow Karen Feagins on Twitter @karenfeagins and Sean Birch @birch_sean.

Sean Birch joined the WJCT team in late 2011 and was with the company until 2016.
Karen found her home in public broadcasting after working for several years as a commercial television reporter. She joinedWJCTin 2005 as the host of 89.9 FM’s Morning Edition and has held many different roles at the station in both radio and television. She has written and produced documentaries includingBeluthahatchee: The Legacy of Stetson Kennedy and Jacksonville Beach: Against the Tide and directed the oral history project, Voices of the First Coast.