A state judge says Florida's Legislature illegally drew the state's congressional districts and has ordered them redrawn.
Judge Terry Lewis on Thursday found that the state's Republican-controlled Legislature broke the law when it drew up political maps in 2012. He rejected arguments from top legislative leaders that they had done nothing wrong.
“They (political consultants) were successful in their efforts to influence the redistricting process and the congressional plan under review here,” Judge Lewis wrote, according to the Miami Herald. “And they might have successfully concealed their scheme and their actions from the public had it not been for the Plaintiffs determined efforts to uncover it in this case.”
Lewis' ruling, however, is not expected to disrupt this year's elections because the Legislature is expected to appeal the decision.
A 12-day trial marked the first test of a 2010 constitutional amendment approved overwhelmingly by voters that said legislators could no longer draw up districts to favor incumbents or a political party.