Florida Supremes Force Districts to be Redrawn

In what national Republicans fear might become a dangerous legal precedent, the Florida Supreme Court ruled this week that the state’s GOP-controlled legislature was guilty of gross partisanship in drawing the state’s 27 congressional districts.

In the 5-2 decision, the court sided with progressive voter interest groups that sued the legislature for having, as they argued, drawn districts in such a way as to discourage Democrat candidates from running.

Citing unconstitutional gerrymandering in its majority opinion, the court ordered the legislature to redraw the map within 100 days which will affect the borders of nearly all of its districts.

Redistricting, which is a mandate by the U.S. Constitution, is typically executed by majority party in the respective states, which has traditionally involved that party drawing district in a manner that will be most beneficial to maintaining its control.

Coupling with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision from a week ago, the new legal precedents could alter the entire landscape of electoral gerrymandering with an historic and long-term impact on the partisan make-up of the U.S. House.

If courts in other states cite these decisions, Republican domination in the House could quickly be challenged as districts more favorable to minority and Democrat candidates are forcibly drawn.