Orlando Sentinel calls protection of Corrine Brown’s majority minority seat a “broken promise” to Florida citizens

The Orlando Sentinel takes a cheap shot at Florida Republicans by focusing their ire on their attempt to protect a majority minority seat protected by the Voting Rights Act.  If the Republicans have broken up the seat, the redistricting plan would have likely drawn an objection and expensive lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act and been condemned by the same Orlando Sentinel editorial board.  The Orlando Sentinel doesn’t want to explain the complexities of federal civil rights laws to it’s readers; they simply want to make boogeymen out of the Republican legislative leaders.    

We wanted to believe that leaders of the Florida Legislature would respect the will of state voters after they passed the Fair Districts amendments to the state constitution in 2010. Now, we have serious doubts.  Voters approved the two amendments to put an end to legislators’ long-standing practice of drawing irregular districts with partisan politics in mind to ensure “safe seats” for Democrats and Republicans. The point was to stop political mapmakers from carving up cities and counties, based on the voting habits of residents, to let politicians choose their voters, instead of the other way around.

But in the first round of redistricting that followed passage of the amendments, legislators in 2012 ended up approving maps that perpetuated gerrymandered districts, such as one for U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, a Jacksonville Democrat, that snakes through eight counties. Brown’s district concentrates Democratic voters within its boundaries, keeping her seat safe, and making it easier to elect Republicans in the surrounding districts.

….Regardless, it’s clear that legislative leaders didn’t honor their promises to operate openly and aboveboard when redrawing the state’s political maps. Voters have good reason to feel cheated — and to be mad as hell.
If this nonsense is what the redistricting trial comes down to in Florida, the state court should throw out the case. The majority minority seat of African-American incumbent Corrine Brown was absolutely protected under different sections of the Voting Rights Act.  Unfortunately, the Orlando Sentinel shows their ignorance and partisan bias by repeating Democratic Party talking points. Florida Republicans did not insert politics into redistricting when protecting one of few minority districts in the state; they were simply following federal law.