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Florida Congressional district map must be re-drawn, says judge

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The Libertarian Party of Florida is victorious once again--this time regarding the gerrymandering of Florida's Congressional districts. Yesterday, Florida Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled when the Florida legislature re-drew the political districts in 2012, they did so to benefit Republican Party candidates. The Florida Legislature is expected to appeal the decision to the Florida Supreme Court and depending upon that decision, it could have a major effect on the 2016 general election. The League of Women Voters of Florida initiated the lawsuit.

The Libertarian Party of Florida as well as other organizations in the state, signed on to supporting two 2010 constitutional amendments (Amendments 5 & 6) which passed and with the goal of ending the practice of gerrymandering political districts. They were designed to make district maps fairer and be based on population numbers, not the number of registered Republican or Democratic voters in a geographical area. The political districts are routinely re-drawn every ten years after census data is collected, however with the passage of Amendments 5 & 6, the process was supposed to be fairer and not favor any political party.

Judge Lewis ruled that Republican political consultants engaged in a "conspiracy to influence and manipulate the Legislature into a violation of its constitutional duty." Lewis ruled that Republican consultants "did in fact conspire to manipulate and influence the redistricting process" and "they made a mockery of the Legislature's proclaimed transparent and open process of redistricting."

What also came out of the two-week trial was that while Republicans were decrying deleted emails from the IRS's Lois Lerner, they themselves were deleting emails concerning this case, even though they knew a trial was upcoming. Their defense of the charge was that the deletion of emails was routine and were not done with the intent to hide Republican involvement.

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