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Redistricting plaintiffs seek sanctions against Corrine Brown

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The winners of the congressional redistricting fight are seeking to make Corrine Brown pay for challenging them.

The League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause and others last week filed a motion for sanctions against the north Florida congresswoman.

Brown had unsuccessfully fought the redrawing of Florida’s congressional districts. Specifically, the Jacksonville Democrat had asked the court to set aside her redrawn seat, the 5th Congressional District.

Brown said her new district violates federal voting laws by cutting down the influence of minority voters and discriminates against them. A panel of federal judges said Brown had “not proven (her) case.”

The redistricting plaintiffs now want Brown to pay their legal fees to fight the case in federal court, their motion said. She has appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“A long history of prior litigation and utter lack of essential proof leave no room to make those claims,” they said. Brown and others who challenged the decision “have no reasonable chance of success and their claims are frivolous.”

The plaintiffs successfully argued that the map OK’d by state lawmakers after the last census was gerrymandered, or unconstitutionally favored Republican incumbents and challengers.

The Florida Supreme Court changed Brown’s seat from a north-south district that meandered from Jacksonville to Sanford, to an east-west district that runs from Jacksonville to rural Gadsden County.

She has said she intends to run for re-election, but already faces a Democratic primary challenge from former state lawmaker Al Lawson of Tallahassee.

“Congresswoman Brown and her counsel … had no legitimate basis to file, nor to continue advocating, their clearly deficient claims,” the plaintiffs’ motion says.

“It is only fair that Congresswoman Brown and (her) counsel pay the cost incurred to bring their baseless, opportunistic misadventure to an end.”

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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