Federal Court Rejected Corrinne Brown's Claim on Florida District Configuration
Apr 19, 2016 04:26 AM EDT
Federal Court decided on Monday to reject claim from U.S. representative Corrinne Brown. She had fought to redistrict Florida, arguing the configuration of a district in Florida violated Voting Rights Act.
After a long and twisted legal drama, ABC News reported that a panel on federal judges on Monday rejected a push by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown to throw out the current district boundaries. She argued the current map violates federal voting law because it diluted the voting rights for black voters and limit black people to elect their preferred candidates.
The panel of three judges sharply disagreed of her argument, and said Brown or her attorneys did not produce evidence to prove her case. The judges mentioned that based on voting data analysis, black candidates, including president Barack Obama, still won in the district.
According to Miami Herald, in the 26-page ruling, the court concluded that Brown and the plaintiffs presented no convincing evidence to support their claim that the white majority votes sufficiently as a bloc to usually defeat the black community's preferred candidate. Therefore, judges Robin Rosenbaum, Robert Hinkle and Mark Walker rejected the claim from the Democratic congresswoman from 5th congressional district
"Although the victory percentages may drop slightly from those in the north-south configuration, the evidence demonstrates that black-preferred candidates should generally continue to win east-west District 5 with about 60 percent of the vote," the court ruling said. "And a win is a win, regardless of the margin of victory. Moreover, on this record, any drop in the margin of victory in District 5 reflects only that, for purposes of obtaining partisan advantage, members controlling the Legislature's redistricting process previously sought to and, for a time, succeeded in packing black voters into the north-south configuration to minimize their presence in other districts."
In response to the court ruling, Brown said she was extremely disappointed with the decision and will review the ruling with her attorney.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee and other candidates, including a former state senator Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee have already aimed to run for the 5th District seat. According to Tampa Bay Times, Gwen Graham will have to choose to run for District 2, or to take on Corrinne Brown in District 2. Graham's own District 2 is a Republican-dominated district in North Florida.
Gwen Graham also expressed her disappointment with the court rulings on a Monday night statement, "I'm disappointed the Second Congressional District will be transformed from a fair, moderate district into two extreme partisan districts."
She also reiterated her commitment to public service in Florida, "Though the maps may have changed, my commitment to public service has not."
The three-judge panel had decided to reject claim from U.S. representative Corrinne Brown that the district configuration in Florida violated Voting Rights Act. Based on the insufficient evidence and the voting data analysis, black candidates still won in the district.