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Email insights: Nothing speaks louder than success for the LWVF and redistricting

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Nothing speaks louder than success, and few things are more favorable to a group than a “total victory.”

Celebrating its success is the League of Women Voters of Florida, which is reveling over Thursday’s ruling by the Florida Supreme Court that took a red pen to the state’s congressional maps.

It was —  in the words of the LWVF — no less than a “Victory for Democracy.” It capped a long-running dispute going as far back as the Florida Fair Districts amendment battle in 2010.

After ruling that lawmakers engaged in illegal gerrymandering, justices ordered the GOP-controlled Legislature back to the drawing board, to redraw eight congressional districts. In the 5-2 ruling, the court also gave a set of instructions for drafting new maps by the 2016 elections, including submitting plans for the eight redrawn districts to the court for approval.

Ultimately, at least 14 more districts – and possibly all 27 in Florida — could be indirectly affected.

“It has been a long, hard battle against devious political scheming, but today the Florida Supreme Court handed the people of Florida a total victory, forcing the redrawing of every one of the eight districts that we contested in the lawsuit,” said LWVF President Pamela Goodman in a celebratory email.

Goodman was a member of the coalition that filed the gerrymandering lawsuit.

“Not only must the Legislature act speedily and hold a special session to redraw,” she added, “what could prove to be nearly every congressional district in the state, but the Florida Supreme Court is leaving nothing to chance — the court will have final approval on the redrawn districts.”

Goodman added that the League will continue to watch the process, making sure lawmakers operate in complete sunshine and transparency.

“Today, the Florida Supreme Court took the Florida Legislature to the woodshed,” Goodman continued. “Their egregious behavior using partisan political operatives in the redistricting process was appropriately reprimanded.

“We commend our court system, our legal system and the hard work of citizens of Florida for making today a victory for the voice of the people.”

Both the opinion and the order are available online.

After all, few people can blame the LWVF for rejoicing, after such an extended conflict.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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