Corrine Brown

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

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's attempt to get a federal court to stop Florida lawmakers from redrawing her congressional district has been stopped for now.

Lawyers on Monday withdrew the lawsuit that Brown was seeking to join. That means the Jacksonville Democrat will have to start over.

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.

  The Florida Supreme Court ruled on Thursday at least eight of the state’s 27 congressional districts will have to be redrawn.

District 5 represented by Congresswoman Corrine Brown is one of the eight the Florida Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional due to gerrymandering.

Brown’s district is predominately African American and snakes from Jacksonville south to Orlando.

Stephen Baker, a retired Political Science professor at Jacksonville University, says Brown’s district is an example of a minority access district.

  We discuss the week's top news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Ron Littlepage, Florida Times-Union columnist; A.G. Gancarski, Folio Weekly and Florida Politics columnist; Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; and Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor.

Topics include the Florida Supreme Court ordering the state legislature to redraw several congressional district maps -- including the one represented by Northeast Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown -- the Andrew Jackson statue in downtown being vandalized twice in the past week, and more.

The Florida Supreme Court has thrown out the state’s congressional districts, saying they’re unconstitutional. The Court’s ruling marks the second time the state’s congressional maps have been invalidated.

Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

Congresswoman Corrine Brown and several state legislators rallied in front of Jacksonville hospital on Monday. The Democratic lawmakers declared opposition to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s refusal to expand Medicaid. 

If the Medicaid debate goes unresolved, Brown warns it might fall on local taxpayers to keep hospitals operating.

Florida Division of Elections

  Lawyers for the Legislature told the Florida Supreme Court in a brief filed late Friday that part of a state ban on political gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution.

The filing is the latest chapter in a long-running battle over whether lawmakers rigged congressional districts during the 2012 redistricting process to benefit Republicans. Voting-rights organizations argue that the maps were influenced by politics, contrary to an amendment to the Florida Constitution approved by voters in 2010.