Rep. Corrine Brown Restarts Fight To Stop Redistricting

Aug 11, 2015

In front of Jacksonville’s federal courthouse Tuesday, Brown said voters in the proposed new district wouldn’t elect a minority candidate. And the change would violate the federal Voting Rights Act.
Credit Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

Jacksonville Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown says she’s planning to file a federal lawsuit to block the redrawing of her district.

In front of Jacksonville’s federal courthouse Tuesday, Brown said voters in the proposed new district wouldn’t elect a minority candidate. And the change would violate the federal Voting Rights Act.

“The federal court drew my district in 1992, the federal court. And I was the first African American to be elected to congress in 129 years. They drew the district putting communities of interest together.”

Brown is planning to file the suit after a different challenge she joined was dropped Monday.

At the same time, Florida lawmakers are working on redistricting in Tallahassee this week. This Tuesday, Republican Senator David Simmons echoed Brown’s concerns about District 5. He said switching her district to an east-west configuration could impede the minority vote.

Simmons said, “We need to make sure we comply with the Fair Districts Amendment so we don’t diminish the ability of minorities to elect the candidates of their choice.”

The proposed District 5 stretches from Jacksonville past Tallahassee, and lowers the percentage of black voters. Brown’s current district was ruled unconstitutional because it was drawn to elect an incumbent.