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Florida begins redrawing congressional maps on Thursday as taxpayers foot the bill

Judge orders Florida to redraw congressional map by August 15

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Well this is going to create quite a stir. Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis today ordered the Florida Legislature to redraw congressional seats by August 15 followed by a special election.

This is certain to create uncertainty for Florida's congressional delegation. This order raises almost as many questions as it answers. If there is a special election in August does that mean winners will have to run again in November?

What will the Republican led Legislature do during this special session to avoid further court action? Will Governor Rick Scott weigh in? Will this be an issue in the already contentious governor's race?

Republicans may a mess of the congressional map in an effort to gain a political edge. It now appears to have been a costly and foolish mistake. Unfortunately, taxpayers will foot the bill for fixing it.

This story continues to develope.

 UPDATE: Excerpts from Lewis ruling -

"I agree the Legislature should redraw the map. Unless and until it becomes obvious that it cannot or will not do so, I will not consider other options."

"The Legislature's only obligation is to produce a constitutionally compliant map."

"To do nothing, when you could, means that you lessen the ability of many citizens to fairly elect a representative of their choice..."

"The State finds itself facing elections under an unlawful redistricting plan."

"The Legislature has shown. . . that it is capable of adopting and submitting a remedial map very quickly when time is of the essence."

It is Ordered:

"The Legislature shall submit a remedial or revised map no later than noon, on Aug. 15, 2014."

"The Secretary of State and Supervisors of Elections shall collaborate to present by noon, Aug. 15, 2014, a proposed special election schedule and comments or suggestions regarding the conduct of such an election, assuming a revised map will be in place no later than Aug. 21."

 "By noon Aug. 18, 2014, the parties shall submit objections, if any, to the revised map and/or election schedule."

"Oral argument, if appropriate, will be heard on objections to the map and/or proposed election schedule on August 20, at 9 a.m."

Read the entire ruling here:


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