Gov. Rick Scott signed the Legislature’s plan to redraw the state’s congressional districts Thursday, likely paving the way for more lawsuits surrounding the once-a-decade redistricting process, reports Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida.
Scott’s office quietly announced the move in the afternoon without comment. A letter from Scott to Secretary of State Kurt Browning simply said the bill (SB 1174) had been signed.
The signing was expected; Scott was largely hands-off during the redistricting process and hadn’t given any signs he might veto the plan.
But the measure has already been challenged by the Florida Democratic Party in court, and a coalition of voting-rights groups said after the Senate gave the maps final approval that they would follow suit pending Scott’s signature. A spokesman for the groups — which include the League of Women Voters of Florida, The National Council of La Raza and Common Cause — did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The groups intend to challenge the maps under the anti-gerrymandering Fair Districts amendments, approved by voters in the 2010 elections. Those standards require lawmakers to draw the maps without regard for how they might impact incumbents or political parties.
The groups’ planned lawsuit says the bill “is filled with unconstitutional political gerrymanders intended to favor one political party and certain incumbents, while disfavoring the other political party and other incumbents.”
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