With a botched 2000 election, voter suppression laws, homeless hating municipal politicians, the country’s weirdest and most deranged residents, and a criminal governor, Florida has developed a lackluster reputation. Now, the Sunshine State has one more thing to add to its repertoire as a circuit court judge ruled that the GOP-controlled state legislature illegally redrew district lines to benefit the party. Hooray, Florida.
The Florida legislature redrew the state’s 5th and 10th Congressional Districts in 2012 in order to benefit the Florida Republican Party. However, the League of Women Voters challenged the Florida GOP on the basis that the redrawn lines were intended solely to benefit GOP candidates. The legislators responsible have been mandated to reset the lines to their original places.
Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ruled late last night that overwhelming circumstantial evidence, including Republican legislative members deleted emails and documents related to redistricting efforts, showed that the Legislature “made a mockery of the Legislature’s transparent and open process of redistricting” and that they went to “great lengths to conceal from the public their plan and their participation in it.”
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Lewis also noted that “Republican political consultants or operatives did in fact conspire to manipulate and influence the redistricting process.”
“There is no legal duty on the part of the Legislature to preserve these records, but you have to wonder why they didn’t,” Lewis wrote. “Litigation over their plans was ‘a moral certainty’ as their lawyers put it earlier in the case, and intent would be a key issue in any challenge.”
This is yet again another shameful display made by the Republican members of the Florida State Legislature. They have proven time and again to be the dirtiest of politicians with their manipulation of the state’s voting system in order to help boost the Florida GOP’s hold on their offices.