Email insights: Nothing speaks louder than success for LWVF and redistricting


Nothing speaks louder than success, and few things are more favorable to a group than a “total victory.”

Celebrating its success is the League of Women Voters of Florida, which is reveling over Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Court that took red pen to the state’s congressional maps.

It was — in the words of the LWVF — no less than a “Victory for Democracy.” It capped a long-running dispute going as far back as the Florida Fair Districts amendment battle in 2010.

After ruling that lawmakers engaged in illegal gerrymandering, justices ordered the GOP-controlled Legislature back to the drawing board, to redraw eight congressional districts. In the 5-2 ruling, the court also gave a set of instructions for drafting new maps by the 2016 elections, including submitting plans for the eight redrawn districts to the court for approval.

Ultimately, at least 14 more districts – and possibly all 27 in Florida — could be indirectly affected.

“It has been a long hard, battle against devious, political scheming, but today the Florida Supreme Court handed the people of Florida a total victory, forcing the redrawing of every one of the eight districts that we contested in the lawsuit,” said LWVF President Pamela Goodman in a celebratory email.

Goodman was a member of the coalition that filed the gerrymandering lawsuit.

“Not only must the Legislature act speedily and hold a special session to redraw,” she wrote, “what could prove to be nearly every congressional district in the state, but the Florida Supreme Court is leaving nothing to chance — the court will have final approval on the redrawn districts.”

Goodman added that the League will continue to watch the process, making sure lawmakers operate in complete sunshine and transparency.

“Today, the Florida Supreme Court took the Florida Legislature to the woodshed,” Goodman continued. “Their egregious behavior using partisan political operatives in the redistricting process was appropriately reprimanded.

“We commend our court system, our legal system and the hard work of citizens of Florida for making today a victory for the voice of the people.”

Both the opinion and the order are available online.

After all, few people can blame the LWVF for rejoicing, after such an extended conflict.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].


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