Florida Supreme Court upholds Senate map

Submitted by Matt Dixon

The Supreme Court has upheld the Senate's second attempt at redrawing their political lines. The court rejected the Senate's first redraw.

During oral arguments earlier this month, one of the biggest issues hinged on Northeast Florida's black community being able to select a candidate of their choosing. Federal law requires certain districts give minority voters this opportunity.

The original maps drew a winding, five-county district for state Sen. Audrey Gibson, D - Jacksonville, which the court said did not meet new compactness standards. The redrawn maps placed Gibson's district wholly in Duval County, which met the compactness standard but lowered the district's black voting age population from 47 to 43 percent.

The NAACP, one of the group's challenging the map, said that the dropoff in Gibson's District 9 and another in Broward County was enough to make the seats invalid. The court disagreed.

"The NAACP‘s contention that there is a "risk" in Florida that Redrawn Districts 9 and 31 will diminish the ability of black voters to elect representatives of their choice is not based on facts, but on speculation," read the opinion.

Check back with, and read tomorrow's Times-Union for a full story. ©2012. All Rights Reserved.

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