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Author Topic: State Legislature Redistricting  (Read 13396 times)
Mr.Phips
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« Reply #150 on: January 26, 2012, 07:33:55 pm »
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I hope Cuomo vetoes that mess.

According to NYT, his aides are already saying he will.

He better.  If not, he's shot at the nomination in 2016 is finished.  The Dem Superdelegates will make sure he doesnt get anywhere near the nomination. 
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« Reply #151 on: January 27, 2012, 01:58:33 am »
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I hope Cuomo vetoes that mess.

I hope that if he does, the Assembly and Senate make a deal to override the veto.  Neither body really wants to roll the dice and get a court-drawn map that puts incumbents in danger.

Both maps are poster children for partisan Gerrymandering.  They did quite the job of carving up cities for partisan ends.
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« Reply #152 on: January 27, 2012, 03:09:58 am »
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Both maps are poster children for partisan Gerrymandering.  They did quite the job of carving up cities for partisan ends.

Agree 101%. That doesn't make these maps any better, BTW...
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« Reply #153 on: January 27, 2012, 05:12:18 am »
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I hope Cuomo vetoes that mess.

According to NYT, his aides are already saying he will.

He better.  If not, he's shot at the nomination in 2016 is finished.  The Dem Superdelegates will make sure he doesnt get anywhere near the nomination. 

If he wants to endear himself to national Democrats he can strike a deal where he accepts the senate map but the Republicans let Democrats draw the congressional map.
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« Reply #154 on: January 27, 2012, 01:55:58 pm »
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I hope Cuomo vetoes that mess.

I hope that if he does, the Assembly and Senate make a deal to override the veto.  Neither body really wants to roll the dice and get a court-drawn map that puts incumbents in danger.

Both maps are poster children for partisan Gerrymandering.  They did quite the job of carving up cities for partisan ends.

I could see the State Assembly signing onto the project, possibily, but, some Senate Democrats also will have to sign onto the project. What is their risk-reward ratio in a court-drawn map?
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« Reply #155 on: January 27, 2012, 02:29:03 pm »
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I could see the State Assembly signing onto the project, possibily, but, some Senate Democrats also will have to sign onto the project. What is their risk-reward ratio in a court-drawn map?

The proposed Senate map creates some minority-majority districts that might otherwise not exist, including the first Asian-American majority district.  That's despite New York losing 100,000 African-Americans in the last census.  I could see the black caucus and three independent-leaning Democrats whose districts were largely protected splitting off from the caucus and voting for the plan.

The Senate map also puts the Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish community in one district instead of five.
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« Reply #156 on: January 27, 2012, 02:37:53 pm »
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Well, I don't think it's a question that the bill would pass the state Senate: very likely it would. The issue is, whether the Assembley desides to go along (not impossible) and whether Cuomo would veto it - quite likely. There is no way they override a veto, so how this or that senator votes is not of much interest for anyone other than political junkies like ourselves. The issue is, what will Cuomo do.
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« Reply #157 on: January 28, 2012, 07:14:41 pm »
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The thing that makes the senate map so interesting is that despite the crazy lines the Republicans didn't capitalize as much as they would have if they got rid of a few of those useless gerrymanderings and included more Conservative areas in less liberal or democratic districts (giving Brighton Beach and part of Sheepshead bay to Savino ranks as one of the dumbest political moves in this map and creates a counterproductive gerrymander)

personally I think there trying to help all 4 independent democrats even when they could win some of those seats.  (there are plenty of useless gerrymanders in this map and a few other places where the Republicans would have been better of making straighter lines if they would ave wanted to win that seat (ex. parts of Forrest Hills))
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« Reply #158 on: February 07, 2012, 10:18:32 pm »
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A judge threw out Kentucky's state legislative maps.
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« Reply #159 on: February 08, 2012, 01:38:13 am »
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Apparently, each house drew their own map.  The Republicans sued over the House map for splitting too many counties; A Democrat senator sued after her district was moved (from Lexington to northern Kentucky) so that she can not run for re-election this year.  Meanwhile, a district that is up in 2014 was moved from western Kentucky to Lexington.

The web pages for the senators have been updated to reflect their new districts.  Click on the Democrat from Lexington, and you will see an 8 county area in Northern Kentucky.

The redistricting requirements for Kentucky date from 1891 (don't split counties unless a county has more than one representative), so it sounds like the legislature has kinda followed the constitution while also trying to adhere to OMOV.

The legislature is still doing congressional districting (or may be stalemated).  Now they can do legislative districting again.
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« Reply #160 on: February 08, 2012, 06:56:10 pm »
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An Alaskan judge ordered the redistricting board to redraw four house districts.  The board is appealing the need to redraw two of the four, largely due to VRA concerns.
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JohnnyLongtorso
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« Reply #161 on: February 08, 2012, 07:34:01 pm »
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Here's an amazing map of the proposed New York Senate districts, showing population deviation. Every single upstate district is underpopulated and every single NYC/Long Island district is overpopulated.

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« Reply #162 on: February 08, 2012, 09:43:17 pm »
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Here's an amazing map of the proposed New York Senate districts, showing population deviation. Every single upstate district is underpopulated and every single NYC/Long Island district is overpopulated.



Is that counting prisoners as residents of the prison they're at (as the U.S. census does and has been used in the past, and as some like BigSkyBob are saying the state is still compelled to do by it's state constitution) or as residents of where they last resided before going to prision?
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« Reply #163 on: February 08, 2012, 09:55:35 pm »
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They ended up striking a deal where about 80% of the prisoners would be counted as residents of their old addresses, but about 20% whose addresses could not be verified or whatever would be counted as residents at their prison.
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« Reply #164 on: February 09, 2012, 08:52:52 am »
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Apparently, each house drew their own map.  The Republicans sued over the House map for splitting too many counties; A Democrat senator sued after her district was moved (from Lexington to northern Kentucky) so that she can not run for re-election this year.  Meanwhile, a district that is up in 2014 was moved from western Kentucky to Lexington.

The web pages for the senators have been updated to reflect their new districts.  Click on the Democrat from Lexington, and you will see an 8 county area in Northern Kentucky.

The redistricting requirements for Kentucky date from 1891 (don't split counties unless a county has more than one representative), so it sounds like the legislature has kinda followed the constitution while also trying to adhere to OMOV.

The legislature is still doing congressional districting (or may be stalemated).  Now they can do legislative districting again.
The Kentucky and Pennsylvania verdicts are, effectively, identical.
Except that at least it wasn't the state Supreme Court... which is where the case is now going.
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« Reply #165 on: February 10, 2012, 03:32:14 am »
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Apparently, each house drew their own map.  The Republicans sued over the House map for splitting too many counties; A Democrat senator sued after her district was moved (from Lexington to northern Kentucky) so that she can not run for re-election this year.  Meanwhile, a district that is up in 2014 was moved from western Kentucky to Lexington.

The web pages for the senators have been updated to reflect their new districts.  Click on the Democrat from Lexington, and you will see an 8 county area in Northern Kentucky.

The redistricting requirements for Kentucky date from 1891 (don't split counties unless a county has more than one representative), so it sounds like the legislature has kinda followed the constitution while also trying to adhere to OMOV.

The legislature is still doing congressional districting (or may be stalemated).  Now they can do legislative districting again.
The Kentucky and Pennsylvania verdicts are, effectively, identical.
Except that at least it wasn't the state Supreme Court... which is where the case is now going.
Sort of.  Pennsylvania had an updated redistricting procedure (post OMOV) and the Supreme Court was part of the process (not just as the ultimate judicial entity).  The 2011 plan is better than the 2001 plan that they had previously approved.  The Supreme Court essentially said that there could be no precedents that the redistricting commission could rely on.

Though one of the challengers in Pennsylvania was the senator whose district was moved, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not consider that - and if you are going to respect county lines, you can't simply slide districts.  At best Pennsylvania could add a provision like in Ohio or Hawaii where the continuing senate districts are based on share of existing districts.

In Kentucky, there are no real guidelines.  So at best a court would have to cite previous cases.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #166 on: February 24, 2012, 11:50:12 pm »
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The referendum of the California senate districts has qualified.
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« Reply #167 on: March 10, 2012, 02:15:17 am »
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The Florida supreme court ruled the state senate map against the Fair Districting amendment today, while giving the house map the nod. They'll be redoing it in a special session next week.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/09/2684620/fla-justices-reject-senate-redistricting.html
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jimrtex
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« Reply #168 on: March 11, 2012, 11:37:38 am »
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The Florida supreme court ruled the state senate map against the Fair Districting amendment today, while giving the house map the nod. They'll be redoing it in a special session next week.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/09/2684620/fla-justices-reject-senate-redistricting.html

This is the Florida Supreme Court opinion

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/sc12-1.pdf

Basically they spend a great deal of time explaining that they get to define what the terms mean and that no deference should be applied to the legislature.  As predicted, the purpose of the initiative in Florida was to get the plan into the courts.  They managed to quote both Texas opinions from this year, as well as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court opinion.

They also adopted the position of the USDOJ that VRA districts must use a functional analysis, where election results are used to determine whether minorities are effective in controlling elections.   While only 5 counties in Florida are subject to Section 5 of the VRA, the amendment incorporates the retrogression language into the Florida Constitution.

I suspect that the difference in the two plans is due to the difference in size of the districts.  House districts are small enough that it is more practical to apportion them among counties.  Meanwhile, you can probably create reasonably compact House VRA districts, while Senate districts with 470,000 population may need to string together a lot of population.

The court seemed to take a totality of circumstance approach when determining whether the Senate plan favored incumbents.  They somehow thought that because districts retained an average of 64% of their population, that this was proof of incumbent protection.

One particular issue they had was with the numbering of senate districts.  Florida has overlapping senate terms, with even and odd-numbered districts elected in alternate years.  But rather than  continuing some districts which elected in 2010 until 2014, all senate districts will elect in 2012.  Florida's interpretation is that terms are truncated by redistricting.  That is, some senators were elected in 2010 to 4-year terms, but because there was redistricting, the terms were truncated to 2 years.  The new districts then elect for a 2-year remainder of the term.  So 1/2 the districts elect in:

2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016; while others elect in 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2018.  That is 1/2 the districts have 3 elections over 4 years, while others have 3 elections over 8 years.  The numbers were changed so that instead some senators who had been elected in 2006 and 2010, would be elected in 2012 and 2016.  A side effect of the numbering would be to permit senators to serve an extra two years.  Florida has term limits, preventing senators who have served 8 years, from seeking re-election.  With renumbering, senators who had served 6 years, a full 4-year term and a truncated 6-year term could be elected to another 4-year term; while those who had served 4 years, could be elected to a 2-year term followed by a 4-year term.

The minority opinion argued that the redistricting amendment was about favoring re-election of incumbents, and that it was not necessarily an advantage to be able to be re-elected.  The fundamental problem is that the term-limits wasn't particularly well thought out.  If Florida really wanted to limit service to 8 years, they could simply truncate terms of senators who had served 6 years when elected to another term.  Assigning numbers randomly would mean that about half of senators who had served less than 8 years, would get a favorable re-numbering.  Is arbitrary and capricious preferable to a deliberate practice?

The particular districts that they were concerned about were:

Two panhandle districts which were drawn east-west, giving an inland district and a coastal district.  The senate argued that the communities of interest were compact.

The senate had preserved a FL-3 junior district snaking south from Jacksonville to Daytona Beach (since it was smaller it didn't have to get to Orlando), which also pinned a district along the coast.  An illustrative plan keeping the district in Duval County was presented.

In the Orlando area, an existing black opportunity district was maintained, and a Hispanic opportunity district was created, with a district to the west having an arm between the two where an incumbent lives.

There was a long narrow black opportunity district in Palm Beach and Broward counties, and a parallel beach district.  The Democrats had demonstrated how to game the Roerck compactness measure by connecting two areas 40 miles apart by going inland and grabbing a large area of the Everglades (and likely using the western county line).  Though the plan was presented by the Democratic party, the court opined that it did not show intent to favor Democrats since Democrats won most seats in the area.
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« Reply #169 on: March 12, 2012, 07:08:08 am »
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The senate had preserved a FL-3 junior district snaking south from Jacksonville to Daytona Beach (since it was smaller it didn't have to get to Orlando), which also pinned a district along the coast.  An illustrative plan keeping the district in Duval County was presented.
So an unabashed gerry to prevent the creation of a Volusia-based marginal, basically? (There shouldn't be a problem creating a minority Senate district in Duval alone, if somewhat on the close side of 50%.) Sounds like they were right to strike that.
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In the Orlando area, an existing black opportunity district was maintained, and a Hispanic opportunity district was created, with a district to the west having an arm between the two where an incumbent lives.
So they're saying the arm is bad, even though Whites live in it (assuming the arm is where I guess it is... Whites do live there). Highly interesting in that case, as that situation is exactly mirrored in the Congressional map (except the southern district is merely Hispanic influence, there not being the numbers for Hispanic opportunity with larger districts.) That incumbent is of course Dan Webster.

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There was a long narrow black opportunity district in Palm Beach and Broward counties, and a parallel beach district.  The Democrats had demonstrated how to game the Roerck compactness measure by connecting two areas 40 miles apart by going inland and grabbing a large area of the Everglades (and likely using the western county line).  Though the plan was presented by the Democratic party, the court opined that it did not show intent to favor Democrats since Democrats won most seats in the area.
Uh... that don't sound too reasonable. Of course the congressional map already does that, but it does so with good reason that may evaporate with smaller districts.
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« Reply #170 on: March 13, 2012, 12:54:55 am »
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The senate had preserved a FL-3 junior district snaking south from Jacksonville to Daytona Beach (since it was smaller it didn't have to get to Orlando), which also pinned a district along the coast.  An illustrative plan keeping the district in Duval County was presented.
So an unabashed gerry to prevent the creation of a Volusia-based marginal, basically? (There shouldn't be a problem creating a minority Senate district in Duval alone, if somewhat on the close side of 50%.) Sounds like they were right to strike that.
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In the Orlando area, an existing black opportunity district was maintained, and a Hispanic opportunity district was created, with a district to the west having an arm between the two where an incumbent lives.
So they're saying the arm is bad, even though Whites live in it (assuming the arm is where I guess it is... Whites do live there). Highly interesting in that case, as that situation is exactly mirrored in the Congressional map (except the southern district is merely Hispanic influence, there not being the numbers for Hispanic opportunity with larger districts.) That incumbent is of course Dan Webster.

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There was a long narrow black opportunity district in Palm Beach and Broward counties, and a parallel beach district.  The Democrats had demonstrated how to game the Roerck compactness measure by connecting two areas 40 miles apart by going inland and grabbing a large area of the Everglades (and likely using the western county line).  Though the plan was presented by the Democratic party, the court opined that it did not show intent to favor Democrats since Democrats won most seats in the area.
Uh... that don't sound too reasonable. Of course the congressional map already does that, but it does so with good reason that may evaporate with smaller districts.
The Supreme Court doesn't have review authority over congressional districts.  That is left over from previous congressional revisions which were intended to make sure the legislature redistricted.  In the past, the Supreme Court could basically check that the population was more or less equal and the districts were contiguous.

The congressional districts have been challenged in state court.  The senate is suggesting that the trial be delayed so that filing can go forward.  The senate plan was drawn by the senate and the house plan was drawn by the house, while the congressional plan was a joint effort.

The congressional plan doesn't on the surface appear to have the problems that the senate plan did.  But there were a ton of complaints against the senate plan that the Supreme Court didn't buy into, and dismissed in fairly cursory fashion.   So basically you complain about everything and hope that some of it sticks.   Interestingly the lawyers for the League of Women Voters in Florida is a law firm that ordinarily works for Democrats.

The congressional plan ended up not drawing the St.Petersburg-Tampa minority district so that it dropped down into Manatee and Sarasota counties.  Curiously, a much smaller House district did do that, and it was approved by the Florida Supreme Court.

On the Orlando appendage, the court also attached significance to the fact that a senator lived in the area, and that during debate the question was raised whether anyone lived in that area, and even though the senator was in the chamber he didn't speak up.  So basically, parts of the debate are shaped in order to support the ultimate court case.

The congressional plan retains the Jacksonville-Orlando snake, but renumbers it to FL-5.  Corrine Brown convinced James Clyburn to try to persuade the national NAACP to get the Florida NAACP to drop its support of the redistricting amendments, in part because she believed its provision against favoring/disfavoring incumbents would cause her to lose her district would reduce the ability of a cohesive and compact minority community to re-elect their candidate of choice.  She is also a plaintiff in federal court challenging the authority to set congressional redistricting standards by the initiative process.

It will be interesting to see if the district is challenged.  Even if you go from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, the district is just as ugly.

The arm in Orlando is in the congressional map, but since representatives don't have to live in their district it is less of an incumbent-protection issue (and where does the representative live in that district?).  You can't complain about keeping a mostly white area out of a black district, especially since the Hispanic district is not overly packed, and the black district already extends a few 100 miles south.   Incidentally, the amendment says specifically "incumbent", and since Alan Grayson is not an incumbent it is perfectly legal to disfavor him.

The congressional district on the Gulf Coast doesn't appear to be as oddly shaped along the coast.  Collier County is covered by Section 5, which I assume means protecting farm workers in the inland area, and that splitting off the narrow coastal strip around Naples may be required.

The Broward-Palm Beach black congressional district is similar in concept to the demonstration plan for the senate plan, except the congressional map includes some needles stretching up from the ends.  FL-22 is not particularly compact.

The Florida Supreme Court upheld districts in Dade County that were challenged on racial grounds, and the congressional maps look reasonably coherent.

The particular districts that are challenged in the congressional map by the Democrats are FL-4, 5, and 10; FL-12; 13; and 14; and FL-26.  I don't see them getting anywhere in the Tampa Bay seat, given that a House district that extended into Manatee and Sarasota were approved.

The Florida Supreme Court said that the legislature should have used a functional test for checking the effectiveness of minority districts (eg rather than checking BVAP%, you should determine what the minimum number of blacks in a district are in order that they can elect their candidate of choice (but of course not noticing whether that candidate is a Democrat).

It would be rather surprising that the the Florida Supreme Court would find FL-5 violates the Florida Constitution when the claim is made that the redistricting amendment was simply incorporating language from the VRA.
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« Reply #171 on: March 13, 2012, 08:08:11 am »
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It doesn't get to be reviewed by the State Supreme Court automatically, but it might end up there. Mind you, it might not, either. I'm not exactly waiting with baited breath.

How do you "challenge FL-26" without demanding the entire south (minus the Black districts) be redrawn from scratch?

Seems that either I'm remembering something that was ever false or Webster moved at one point. He used to live - or I wrongly heard he did - very close to both Adams and Mica, right about where their new district and his new district meet. But now wiki says he lives in a western suburb. *shrug* Anyways, the design doesn't screw Grayson at all, it screws Polk County Republicans in favor of Orange County Republican incumbents.

The State House district in question in the Tampa Bay might have been an actual Black-majority district? That would kinda make sense. Possibly.

What's the complaint regarding FL-4? Some majority Black bit in Jacksonville that had to be excised from Brown's to make the numbers add up better elsewhere?

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« Reply #172 on: March 13, 2012, 01:25:16 pm »
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It doesn't get to be reviewed by the State Supreme Court automatically, but it might end up there. Mind you, it might not, either. I'm not exactly waiting with baited breath.

How do you "challenge FL-26" without demanding the entire south (minus the Black districts) be redrawn from scratch?

Seems that either I'm remembering something that was ever false or Webster moved at one point. He used to live - or I wrongly heard he did - very close to both Adams and Mica, right about where their new district and his new district meet. But now wiki says he lives in a western suburb. *shrug* Anyways, the design doesn't screw Grayson at all, it screws Polk County Republicans in favor of Orange County Republican incumbents.

The State House district in question in the Tampa Bay might have been an actual Black-majority district? That would kinda make sense. Possibly.

What's the complaint regarding FL-4? Some majority Black bit in Jacksonville that had to be excised from Brown's to make the numbers add up better elsewhere?
The lawsuits have already been filed in Leon Circuit Court.  The first complaint was after the legislature had passed the bill.  The second was after the governor signed it.  Florida does have to preclear their statewide maps, but they haven't filed yet that I can see (the covered counties are Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, and Monroe).

It appears that the focus of the complaint is FL-5 and FL-13, and probably that packing black voters was done to favor Republicans in adjacent district.

http://redistricting.lls.edu/states-FL.php#litigation

The state court cases on the congressional redistricting are Romo v Scott, and League of Women Voters of Fla. v. Scott, if you go to the above link you will find links to the complaints.  They don't really get into the substance.

For most of the districts in the complaint, it is alleged that the district favors a party, disfavors a party, favors an incumbent, was drawn with the intent and result of the equal opportunity of racial and language minorities to participate in the political process; and diminishing their ability to elect their candidate of choice; not compact, and does not utilize political and geographical boundaries.

5, 4, and 10 would appear to be really a complaint about FL-5.

12 is not claimed to be a racial gerrymander, but simply a political gerrymander and not compact, but it must tie in with 13 and 14.  But unless the court finds fault with 14; 12 and 13 aren't going to overturned.  And since Hillsborough is a Section 5 covered county is 14 going to be challenged for going into St.Petersburg?

26 is challenged only as a political gerrymander and not utilizing political and geographical boundaries.   But it can be claimed that its configuration is forced because of the mainland part of the Monroe.  And US-1 from the Keys comes ashore in the district rather than going through the northernmost key.

What would happen politically if 26 and 27 were split along an east west line?

Incidentally, when Florida sought preclearance of the redistricting amendments after they had been passed by the legislature, they specifically highlighted the Jacksonville-Orlando congressional snake; the Jacksonville-Daytona senate snake junior, and the reed-thin Broward-Palm Beach districts as benchmark districts, and that they could interpret the new amendments as requiring their continuation.

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/redistricting2012/index.shtml

This has the litigation on the legislative plans.  The opinion includes illustrative maps on the alternatives.

By the way, the special apportionment session on the legislative map gets underway. tomorrow.  The legislature gets one more chance, then the Supreme Court gets to draw a map.
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« Reply #173 on: March 14, 2012, 08:36:40 pm »
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It doesn't get to be reviewed by the State Supreme Court automatically, but it might end up there. Mind you, it might not, either. I'm not exactly waiting with baited breath.

How do you "challenge FL-26" without demanding the entire south (minus the Black districts) be redrawn from scratch?

Seems that either I'm remembering something that was ever false or Webster moved at one point. He used to live - or I wrongly heard he did - very close to both Adams and Mica, right about where their new district and his new district meet. But now wiki says he lives in a western suburb. *shrug* Anyways, the design doesn't screw Grayson at all, it screws Polk County Republicans in favor of Orange County Republican incumbents.

The State House district in question in the Tampa Bay might have been an actual Black-majority district? That would kinda make sense. Possibly.

What's the complaint regarding FL-4? Some majority Black bit in Jacksonville that had to be excised from Brown's to make the numbers add up better elsewhere?
The Florida legislature opened its special redistricting session today, and indicated that a new senate map would be approved at the end of the 14-day session.  The House redistricting committee met, and the chair indicated it was the intent to defer to the senate in drawing its map, and unless something came up, the redistricting committee would meet on the 26th, with anticipated 2nd and 3rd reading before the full house on the following two days.

The last 25 minutes or so of the House committee meeting were a review of the SCOFLA opinion by the House counsel.  It is kind of interesting if you want to watch the video.
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« Reply #174 on: March 14, 2012, 09:06:50 pm »
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SCOFLA

Ah, such memories of Free Republic in December 2000.
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