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Fair Districts Amendments

Redistricting plaintiffs seek sanctions against Corrine Brown

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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…

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Corrine Brown, fired up and ready to go — to lunch

in 2017/Top Headlines by

With the oldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. standing behind her, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown held a master class in political theater at a Tallahassee buffet restaurant Friday. It came after a court hearing on her legal challenge of the state’s new congressional district map. In the morning, a panel of federal judges heard arguments — but did not immediately rule — on her request for a preliminary injunction to freeze in place the old map until a final…

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Corrine Brown’s lawyer makes historical argument to keep district lines

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A lawyer for U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown on Friday told a panel of federal judges that Florida’s new congressional map flies in the face of 100 years of history and would do violence to the voting rights of her black constituency. William Sheppard argued that the former District, which meanders from Jacksonville through Gainesville to Sanford, follows the course of the St. John’s River, where black residents settled and stayed after fleeing discrimination and racist attacks early last century. Brown’s former 5th Congressional…

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Court strikes down fee request in redistricting case

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An appeal court in Tallahassee has upheld a trial judge’s denial of attorney fees to the plaintiffs who won a congressional redistricting case. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal agreed with Circuit Judge Terry Lewis that the League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause and others “waived their right” to get their legal fees reimbursed for the trial court portion of the case. A separate request for appellate attorney fees still is pending before the Florida Supreme…

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The next redistricting fight: Who pays the attorneys?

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The Florida Legislature is continuing to oppose an effort by the plaintiffs’ attorneys to get their fees paid by state government now that the congressional redistricting case has been closed. Lawyers for House and Senate filed more legal authority with the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday to support their position that the opposing lawyers are “not entitled to an award of attorney’s fees.” Last month, the court gave its final OK to a redrawn version of the state’s 27 congressional districts, three years…

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Gwen Graham passes civics education initiatives in House

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Three civics education initiatives proposed by U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham are set to become law as part of the just-passed Every Child Succeeds Act, approved Thursday by the House 359-64. Graham’s camp says the Tallahassee Democrat shepherded language into the bill by working with a bipartisan group of members to sway Education Committee Chairman John Kline to include language in the sweeping rewrite of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. Specifically, Graham sought authority and money to establish academies to teach civics;…

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Gwen Graham staying course despite redistricting decision

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Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee on Wednesday said she was “disappointed” by the state Supreme Court’s decision in a redistricting case that could spell the end of her nascent congressional career. But Graham, elected in 2014, said she hadn’t decided which direction her public service will next take. The court approved a map that redraws U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown‘s current Jacksonville-to-Sanford district “in an east-west manner,” stretching it into what is now Graham’s territory in the Big Bend and Panhandle. That eviscerates her Democratic base in…

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