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Florida Democrats file first redistricting salvo in legislative maps

The Florida Democratic Party filed a 58-page brief this morning in the Florida Supreme Court, detailing the party's argument for why the court should reject the state House and Senate redistricting maps alleging they violation every one of the new standards established by the Fair District amendment number 5.

"The Legislature cannot credibly contest that the Senate and House Plans were drawn with the intent and result of favoring the Republican Party,'' the party argues. "Incontrovertible statistics demonstrate a significant partisan imbalance in both plans that simply cannot be justified on the basis of voter registration or election data, racial fairness, or any other legitimate rationale. Indeed, the Legislature even deviated from the fundamental principle of equal population to suit its partisan agenda. Not surprisingly, this politically gerrymandered plan is also drawn to protect many Republican incumbents."

The brief claims that the map "tortures and severs multiple communities," noting that the House plan creates districts that "twist and turn in every direction"

All briefs in the case are due to the high court by noon today. The court has set oral arguments for Feb. 29 and it must complete its decision by March 9.

The Democrat's brief was written by an all-star cast of lawyers that includes Joseph Hatchett, a former federal court judge who presided over the court's redrawing of the congressional districting lines in 1992 and Jon Mills, former House speaker and dean emeritus of the University of Florida College of Law. Download Florida Supreme Court Brief (with e-signature)