LatinoJustice Asks Florida Supreme Court to Force State Legislature to Redraw Congressional Maps
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2014
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LatinoJustice PRLDEF asked the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday to order the state legislature to redraw maps they created after the maps they first created in 2010 were deemed in violation of the state constitution.
The legislature had proposed new redistricting maps in August, but the maps diluted Latino populations in the heavily Latino congressional District 9, which encompass large parts of Orange, Polk and Osceola counties. The new maps may violate state constitutional protections against vote dilution and retrogression, according to an amici filed by LatinoJustice PRLDEF, which also represented Florida New Majority and Mi Familia Vota.
The original lawsuit was filed by a coalition of advocates led by The League of Women Voters. A circuit court found in August of this year that the 2012 first round of map-making violated the state’s constitutional redistricting laws. The state legislature then redrew the maps.
“The unprecedented growth of Latinos in Central Florida enabled the state to obtain two new congressional districts, and therefore it doesn’t make sense to risk diluting their vote or their voting strength,” said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF
“We want the court to evaluate any proposed maps from the perspective of how they unfairly impact Latino and African American voters,” added Martha Pardo, an attorney with LatinoJustice PRLDEF.
The amici argue that the maps proposed by the state legislature drastically reduce the Latino voting age population in District 9, an area where significant Latino/Hispanic population growth contributed to the creation of a new congressional district. “This reduction, from 41.4% of the HVAP under the 2012 Congressional District Map to 37.23% under the Coalition Appellants’ Remedial Map 8 and 38.37% under the Legislature’s Remedial Map, 9 risks effectively diminishing or abridging the Latino community’s ability to elect a candidate of its choice by diluting the vote, and with retrogressive effect,” the papers say.
Download and read Amicus brief.