News Section: State Government
Florida Legislature Says Judge's Ruling Stays
TALLAHASSEE – Florida legislative leaders won't challenge last week's ruling by Leon Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis that two of the state's 27 congressional districts are illegal. They ask only that Judge Lewis hold a hearing to clarify his decision, and let the current map stay through the 2014 election.
Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford and State Senate President Don Gaetz ask the court to allow this year's August 26 and the November 4 general election be conducted under the existing maps.
The request is said to be in consideration of the 63,000 Florida military and overseas voters that have already received their absentee ballots based on the current map.
Any alteration to the map would create irreparable damage to this year's election process, both leaders claimed. Judge Lewis has scheduled a conference with lawyers on July 17 to discuss the case.
League of Women's Voters filed suit against the 2012 redistricting boundaries, claiming the map favored Republicans over Democrats, violating a 2010 state constitutional amendment.
Judge Lewis upheld the boundaries of seven districts, but found that two were illegally constituted and ruled they be revised, adding surrounding districts would also have to be redrawn.
The two districts Lewis ruled illegal are held by U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Orlando. and U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville.
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