Florida lawmakers will reconvene on Business Broadband Provider Thursday in a hastily called special legislative session to redraw congressional maps that a judge has found unconstitutional, a ruling that raises the possibility of election delays in upcoming midterm races.
Republican legislative leaders said they planned to alter as few of the state's 27 U.S. congressional districts as possible in reconfiguring the boundaries for the two districts that the judge invalidated.
"We ought to adjust the lines and cure the flaws in Districts 5 and 10 with as little chaos and confusion elsewhere in the state as possible,” said Republican Senate President Don Gaetz.
The boundaries of the districts, represented by north Florida Democrat Corrine Brown and Orlando-area Republican Daniel Webster, were rejected by a judge who found Gaetz and other Republican leaders had improperly rigged the maps to protect the party's majority in Washington rental website for houses.
Last week, Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis gave lawmakers an Aug. 15 deadline to submit new maps. He plans to hear arguments the following week on whether to delay the affected elections.
Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford decided against appealing the July 10 ruling, which found the Republican leaders “made a mockery” of a voter-approved mandate that prohibited legislators from protecting incumbents.
With absentee ballots already mailed for the Aug. 26 primaries, Republican leaders had argued that any changes should be delayed until after the November general elections Dream beauty pro hard sell.
Now they will preside over a special session expected to run through the weekend, with approval of the maps expected early next week.
The main focus will be Brown's snake-shaped district, which could affect some half-dozen congressional boundaries as it winds from northeastern Florida to the center of the state.
“We want constitutional maps, maps that fully comply with the requirements laid out by Judge Lewis in his ruling,” said Deirdre Macnab, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, which led the lawsuit invalidating the maps.
Republicans are eager to fix the unconstitutional districts and go home, said Democratic state Representative Perry Thurston, the House minority leader.
Democrats, in the minority in both chambers, have little power to stop them, he said. But they will press for an explanation of what went wrong in the 2012 redistricting.
“They had a concerted, secretive, alternative method that violated the Constitution,” Thurston said.