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Federal Court Rejects Fla. Redistricting Challenge

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro rejected a challenged to Florida’s redistricting constitutional amendments passed in 2010.

The state constitutional amendments forbid the gerrymandering of Congressional districts. Gerrymandering is when a state legislature creates specific districts by carving pieces out of other districts to benefit the party in power.

Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown and Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart filed the challenge. The lawsuit was filed just hours after Amendment 5 and 6 passed.

Both Rep. Brown and Rep. Diaz-Balart have benefitted from the gerrymandering of districts. According to the Miami Herald, the gerrymandered districts of Diaz-Balart and Brown allowed them to become members of Congress.

The lawsuit claimed the state legislature would be unconstitutionally limited due to the restrictions and that fewer minorities would be elected.

The NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union oppose Brown and Diaz-Balart’s challenge. Both groups said the new rules would strengthen protections for minorities because it prohibits legislators from drawing districts that could hurt the election chances of a candidate they like.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)

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