Longtime Florida Rep. Corrine Brown has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state of Florida's Supreme Court redistricting decision, which will dramatically alter Brown’s congressional district map.
The Florida Legislature is holding a nearly two-week special session in August to draw up new congressional districts.
“It is obvious that if the court forces the Legislature to overturn the current congressional District 5 map, they will be ignoring the essential redistricting principle of maintaining communities of interest or minority access districts. Certainly, minority communities do not live in compact, cookie cutter-like neighborhoods, and excessive adherence to district 'compactness,' while ignoring the maintenance of minority access districts, fragments minority communities across the state," Brown said in a statement.
"The current District 5 map is essentially the same as the previous District 3 map, which was drawn by the courts and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, in adherence to the principles of the Voting Rights Act. In particular, there is one critical section of the Voting Rights Act which strictly prohibits the fracturing of communities of minority voters into a variety of districts. This element of the act is essential in the maintenance of minority representation not just in the state of Florida, but across the entire nation."
The court ordered an accelerated timeline after ruling that the current congressional districts don't meet the requirements of a voter-approved constitutional amendment that prohibits drawing political lines to favor incumbents or a political party.
"I believe categorically that the decision by the Florida Supreme Court to order a redraw of the state's congressional map is a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, since the newly configured maps clearly will bring about minority vote dilution and hamper the ability of the state's minority residents to elect a candidate of choice," Brown said.
The special session is scheduled for Aug. 10-21.