(POLITICO) A Florida judge ruled the state’s congressional map unconstitutional Thursday evening, a decision that could upend Republicans’ advantage in the state’s House delegation and leaves open the possibility of redrawing the districts in time for the 2014 elections.
Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis blasted the GOP-controlled state Legislature for working with political consultants to make a “mockery” of Florida’s Fair Districts amendments — passed by voters in 2010 — that call for the decennial redistricting process to be conducted without taking into account partisan makeup or incumbent advantage.
“Republican political consultants or operatives did in fact conspire to manipulate and influence the redistricting process,” Lewis writes in the opinion. “They made a mockery of the Legislature’s proclaimed transparency and open process of redistricting by doing all of this in the shadow of that process, utilizing the access it gave them to the decision makers, but going to great lengths to conceal from the public their plan and their participation in it.”
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