Congressional district maps

Corrine Brown

TALLAHASSEE — A federal court turned aside Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown's legal fight to keep her current district intact, setting the stage for a campaign that will range from Tallahassee to Jacksonville.

A three-judge panel based in Tallahassee unanimously ruled against Brown on Monday, saying she could not prove that a new east-west configuration of her district would dilute the ability of African-American voters to elect a candidate of their choice in 2016 or beyond. Brown's current district, which was found by the Florida Supreme Court to violate the state Constitution, ambles from Jacksonville in the north to Orlando in the south.

In a ruling that could reshape the state's political landscape, a Leon County judge recommended Friday that the Florida Supreme Court adopt congressional districts proposed by a coalition of voting-rights groups.

The decision by Circuit Judge Terry Lewis was a blow to House and Senate leaders who argued for other maps of the state's 27 congressional seats in a three-day hearing last month. Lewis was charged with recommending a plan to the Supreme Court, which will make the final decision, after the House and Senate failed to agree on a new map during an August special session.

Florida Senate

The legal arguments about Florida's political maps continue to mushroom.

While the Florida Supreme Court and the Legislature grapple with how congressional districts will be drawn, more legal fights are building in federal courts.

Florida legislators dissolved their two­-week special session Friday without agreeing on a update to the state's congressional district map.They were ordered to redraw the district lines by the State Supreme Court earlier this year, but couldn’t come to terms. The complicated task of redrawing the maps is now set to go to the courts. We discuss the issue with Mike Binder, professor of political science at UNF.

Florida Senate

A plan to redraw Florida's 27 congressional districts overwhelmingly passed the state House on Tuesday, inching closer to a potential faceoff with the Senate over districts in Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area.

Nine Democrats joined with the majority of Republicans in approving the new map on a 76-35 vote. Nine members of the GOP, some of whom fulminated against a Florida Supreme Court decision that prompted the ongoing redistricting special session, joined the majority of Democrats in opposing the proposal (HB 1B).

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Mark Woods, Florida Times-Union columnist; Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor; and Claire Goforth, Folio Weekly writer.

Topics include the Florida Legislature's special session to overhaul the state's congressional districts, the St. Johns Riverkeeper filing a lawsuit over the proposed St. Johns River deepening project, and more.

Marc Caputo, Florida reporter for POLITICO, joins us to discuss the current special session to redraw the state's Congressional district map after a Florida Supreme Court ruling found they violated anti-gerrymandering amendments. We also discuss potential challengers to Rep. Corrine Brown's seat now that her district will likely be changed.


Florida Senate

The first draft of a new set of Florida congressional districts came under fire on several fronts Tuesday, with two members of Congress blasting the plan and some state lawmakers suggesting they would draw their own maps.

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.”

Florida legislators are in Tallahassee this week for a special session to redraw the state’s congressional districts. This comes after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the current maps violates anti-gerrymandering amendments. Tia Mitchell, Capital Bureau Chief for the Florida Times-Union, joins us to discuss the proposed new map, as well as the taxpayer costs for special sessions.

Corrine Brown
U.S. House of Representatives

Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown went to federal court Thursday to try to block a proposal that would radically redraw her district, complicating the legal fight over the state's congressional map days before a special legislative session on the topic is set to begin.

Brown, an African-American Democrat from Jacksonville, made a legal maneuver to try to use a case challenging her current district to launch a defense of it. Brown is hoping to intervene in the lawsuit and get judges to order the Legislature not to reorient the district, which ambles from Jacksonville to Orlando.

We discuss the week's news with our roundtable of local journalists: Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal Editor; Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; and A.G. Gancarski, Folio Weekly and Florida Politics columnist.

Topics include Mayor Lenny Curry's transition committees presenting their recommendations for the administration, the first Republican presidential debate, and more.

Florida Senate

A new set of congressional districts that could alter the futures of several members of the state's U.S. House delegation was released by the Legislature on Wednesday, days before the beginning of a special session where redrawn lines will be approved.

The Orlando Sentinel has created an interactive map to show the new and old districts.

Florida Election Commission

Pointing to a time crunch, a Leon County circuit judge Wednesday gave the Florida Legislature little more than two months to draw new congressional districts and to defend them in court.

Judge George S. Reynolds III issued an order that said a special legislative session to redraw districts and a subsequent trial must be finished by Sept. 25. The order came after the Florida Supreme Court last week tossed out eight congressional districts because it found that lawmakers violated a 2010 constitutional amendment aimed at preventing gerrymandering.

Florida House of Representatives /

Republican legislative leaders, who have been huddling with staff and counsel, continue to offer little comment publicly as they decide how to respond to a Florida Supreme Court ruling last week that eight congressional districts must be redrawn.

But state Democrats haven't been holding back.

Shortly after Thursday's court ruling, Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, announced that he would reintroduce legislation for the 2016 session to create an independent commission to oversee future district-map drawing.