Redistricting in Florida
The following timeline is a high-level overview outlining major redistricting events and activity in the state of Florida over the last 10 years.
Congressional Map Timeline
Republicans maintain trifecta control of the state, winning supermajorities in both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship.
In response to partisan gerrymandering from 2000, voters passed the “Florida Congressional District Boundaries” constitutional amendments, also widely known as the “Fair Districts” amendments, on November 2 to attempt to combat the partisan practice and establish “fairness” for the process of map-drawing.
Census data delivered to Florida.
Republican-controlled state legislature passes gerrymandered congressional map, ignoring the “Fair Districts” constitutional amendment.
Republican Governor Rick Scott signs the gerrymandered map into law.
President Barack Obama wins the state with 50% of the vote, but Republicans make up 63% of the congressional delegation and state legislature.
Two separate groups of plaintiffs filed challenges to the map in state court.
The state trial court finds that Republican operatives conspired to manipulate the redistricting process to favor their party, and thus that the congressional map was drawn with unconstitutional partisan intent.
The Florida Supreme Court affirms the trial court’s ruling striking down the 2012 congressional map. The Court ordered the Legislature to redraw specific districts, but the Legislature’s special session ended without an adopted plan. The Florida House asked the court to initiate proceedings to adopt a remedial plan, and to invite the plaintiffs in the litigation and the state legislative bodies to submit proposed remedial maps. After doing so, the state Supreme Court adopted a new map for the congressional districts as recommended by the trial court based on those submissions.
Florida almost evenly splits between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the new congressional map yields a fairer delegation with one more Democrat than 2012’s delegation.
State Legislature Timeline
Republican-controlled state legislature passes joint resolution for a gerrymandered map, ignoring the “Fair Districts” constitutional amendment.
The Florida Supreme Court rejects the state Senate plan.
Legislature passes a revised state Senate plan, which the state Supreme Court approves.
The state Senate plan is challenged under the Florida Constitution as, among other things, a violation of the state’s prohibition on partisan gerrymandering.
After the state court found that the legislature had drawn the congressional map with undue partisan influence, the Republican controlled state Senate admitted that it had also drawn the state Senate plan to favor a political party and incumbents and agreed to redraw the state Senate plan.
Legislature convened a special session to re-draw the Senate plan, but failed to do so.
State court ordered a new Senate plan for the 2016 general election.
With the support of the NDRC, Democrats won six seats in the Florida House on Election Day.