TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Pointing to upcoming primary elections, plaintiffs urged a federal court Wednesday to continue moving forward with a lawsuit overdrawing new congressional districts.

Attorneys for the groups Common Cause Florida and FairDistricts Now and five individual plaintiffs opposed a request by Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee to put the lawsuit on hold.

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The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit last month after Gov. Ron DeSantis and lawmakers reached an impasse on congressional redistricting.

The lawsuit argued that judges should set the districts, but DeSantis subsequently called a special legislative session for April 19 to April 22 to try to reach an agreement on new districts.

The document filed Wednesday said county supervisors of elections need to soon know the details of districts so they can prepare ballots for the August primary elections.

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“Plaintiffs ask this court to set a briefing schedule that will permit it to hold a hearing and decide upon a new map as early as the last week in April,” the document said.

“That will give the Legislature one last chance to draw congressional lines that the governor will accept. A briefing schedule will not impede the state actors from taking action in the next few weeks, nor will it interfere with whatever activities they may choose to undertake. But it will permit this court to be able to perform its duties in a timely fashion in addressing this emergency that is not of its own making.” Lee last week filed a motion seeking a stay in the case, citing the special legislative session and a similar lawsuit filed in state court.

“A stay is appropriate to allow the political branches to do their work,” the motion said.

“After all, the Florida Legislature is constitutionally tasked to reapportion the state’s congressional districts.”

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