Plaintiffs want Supreme Court to consider redistricting case

TALLAHASSEE _ Florida’s November election is no longer in danger of being changed, but the lengthy challenge to the state’s congressional districts isn’t over.

A coalition of plaintiffs that sued over the congressional maps is appealing a Leon County judge’s ruling earlier this month that the Legislature’s second attempt at drawing those political lines was constitutional.

Within 10 days, the coalition also will file a request that its appeal be certified directly to the Florida Supreme Court. It’s doing this to ensure “that their challenges can be fully litigated … in time for the 2016 elections,” read a notice filed Friday with the Tallahassee-based 1st District Court of Appeal.

Leon Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled in July that the congressional maps drawn by the Legislature during the 2012 redistricting process were at odds with anti-gerrymandering provisions in the state constitution. Two of the state’s 27 seats were drawn to favor Republicans, he said.

Lewis approved a revised map the Legislature adopted in a special session to redraw the two unconstitutional seats, held by U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Dan Webster, R-Winter Park. The new map made tweaks to seven total districts.

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