Black Congressional Democrats are criticizing party leadership for supporting the push by the League of Women Voters to redraw Florida’s congressional map, which cuts into the state’s Republican House majority.
Alex Isenstadt of POLITICO reports on a scathing letter sent by Black Caucus Chair Marcia Fudge sent to U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In it, Fudge complained about supporting a lawsuit to dismantle the gerrymandered seat of Florida CBC member Rep. Corrine Brown.
“On behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus, I write to express our ongoing concern with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s support of lawsuits challenging the validity of minority Congressional districts,” wrote Fudge. “We are extremely disturbed by the DCCC’s efforts to dismantle CBC districts in states that have historically proven to be difficult to elect minority members.
Fudge pointed out the history of discrimination through gerrymandering and compared recent actions to the “discrimination of days past.”
Democrat-affiliated groups, funded by the National Democratic Redistricting Trust, supported the suit to undo a congressional map viewed as GOP-friendly. But it was Brown’s oddly shaped 5th District, extending from Jacksonville to Orlando, which Judge Terry Lewis saw as violating Florida’s Fair Districts amendment.
“There are instances where these types of lawsuits may be warranted,” Fudge continued. “However, the recent Florida lawsuit aimed at dismantling the 5th Congressional District is not one.”
Fudge added that the 5th District had been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court, and was “virtually unchanged” for more than 20 years.
“It was deemed constitutional then,” she said, “and it is constitutional now.”
Isenstadt notes that it is not the first time Fudge and Israel butted heads, as Fudge was quoted In June saying Israel “doesn’t really value” the CBC.