A state judge upheld the Florida legislature’s newly revised congressional map Friday, ruling the redrawn House districts should apply to the 2016 elections.
“The 2014 elections will have to be held under the map as enacted in 2012,” Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis wrote in his ruling, siding with Florida lawmakers who argued that applying new district lines to this election cycle would create chaos.
The ruling allows the Aug. 26 primaries to continue as scheduled. Even so, the new map makes minor changes to the state’s House districts and will likely have a minimal effect in 2016 on the congressional delegation, where House Republicans currently outnumber Democrats 17 to 10.
But the plaintiffs in the redistricting case, including the League of Women Voters, indicated they are likely to appeal the judge’s ruling in a Friday statement.
"We are disappointed and plan to ask the appellate courts to review Judge Lewis' ruling," said David King, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs argued that the legislature's new map violated the state’s constitution. The plaintiffs also said new districts should apply to the upcoming midterms since the current district lines were deemed invalid.
In July, Lewis ruled that congressional districts 5 and 10 violated the state constitution , which prohibits drawing districts to favor a political party or incumbent. The 5th is represented by Democrat Corrine Brown and the 10th is represented by Republican Daniel Webster.
Five other House districts were affected by the newly redrawn map. The GOP districts are represented by Ron DeSantis in the 6th; John L. Mica in the 7th; Rich Nugent in the 11th, and Tom Rooney in the 17th. The other Democrat affected by the new map is Alan Grayson in the 9th District.
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