Great news and hopefully this ruling will lead to the formation of an independent redistricting commission:
TALLAHASSEE — In a precedent-setting ruling Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the state's congressional districts drawn by the GOP-led Legislature and ordered a new map with eight districts drawn in time for the 2016 election.
"We reverse the trial court's order approving the remedial redistricting plan because we conclude that, as a result of legal errors, the trial court failed to give the proper effect to its finding of unconstitutional intent, which mandated a more meaningful remedy commensurate with the constitutional violations it found,'' wrote Justice Barbara Pariente in the majority opinion.
"Through this opinion, we have provided clear guidance as to the specific deficiencies in the districts that the Legislature must redraw — Districts 5, 13, 14, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, and all other districts affected thereby — and we have urged the Legislature in light of the trial court's findings in this case to consider making all decisions on the redrawn map in public view," the court said.
The ruling is likely to shake up Florida's political landscape as incumbents face the prospect of a new set of boundary lines close to the 2016 election. In siding with a coalition of Democrat-backed voter groups, the court majority concluded that the boundaries drawn by lawmakers violated the anti-gerrymandering provisions of the state Constitution.