Judge To Redraw Florida’s Congressional Maps After Legislature Fails To Reach Deal

Florida Republican state Sen. Rene Garcia looks at a map for proposed changes in congressional districts during a Senate committee meeting on reapportionment in 2012.

Florida Republican state Sen. Rene Garcia looks at a map for proposed changes in congressional districts during a Senate committee meeting on reapportionment in 2012.

Chris O’Meara/AP

A Florida judge will draw up new maps for the state’s 27 congressional districts. After meeting in a two-week special session, Florida’s House and Senate adjourned without agreeing on what the maps, ordered by the State Supreme Court, should look like.

This was the Florida Legislature’s third attempt to draw congressional maps that comply with the state Constitution. Under an amendment adopted by voters in 2010, Florida’s Legislature must compile maps for congressional and legislative districts that don’t protect incumbents or political parties.

But although Florida’s House and Senate are both controlled by Republicans, the two bodies were unable to come to an agreement. They adjourned amid acrimony between House and Senate leaders. It was an atmosphere similar to that when the regular session ended in April with an impasse over whether to expand Medicaid. Republican leaders denied that feud carried over into this special session.

With the failure of the Legislature to produce new maps, the job of shaping Florida’s 27 congressional districts now falls to state Judge Terry Lewis, who has ordered hearings in September.

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Source: NPR