Very good news for Floridians. Two Florida Congress critters had challenged a voter approved redistricting plan and it just got shot down by a federal judge. (for now anyway)
MIAMI — A federal judge today upheld Florida’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that aims to ban gerrymandering in the drawing of congressional districts.
But two Florida members of Congress who challenged the “Fair Districts” amendment said they are prepared to appeal the matter all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court . . .
Although the Florida legislature ultimately draws the congressional boundaries under the new law, the plaintiffs argued that the voter-imposed rules dilute the legislature’s authority.
Ungaro’s ruling deals with Amendment 6, approved by 62.9 percent of voters in November, which sets guidelines for congressional redistricting. A companion amendment dealing with state House and Senate redistricting passed with 62.6 percent support and has not been challenged.
The legislature must draw new districts in time for the 2012 elections to reflect 2010 census data. The process in Florida and other states has historically been dominated by partisanship and political considerations. But Amendment 6 states that districts cannot be drawn to favor incumbents or political parties and must be compact and adhere to existing city, county and geographical boundaries “where feasible.”