Heated court battle over congressional districts wraps up

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A heated court battle over whether congressional districts were drawn to favor one party wrapped up Wednesday in Tallahassee.

The trial ended around 2:30 p.m. in the Leon County Courthouse and both sides said they are hopeful they proved their case.

The plaintiffs, one of them being the league of women voters of Florida, say the redistricting plan was drafted with the intent of aiding the Republican Party and protecting incumbents. They are requesting a new map be drawn.

But the legislation for the maps is presumed to be constitutional and the burden is on the plaintiffs for them to prove otherwise.

"Our clients feel that we've proven there's been a violation of the constitution and are very hopeful that the judge will agree with us," said John Devaney, a Washington, D.C. lawyer who represents some of the plaintiffs.

"I feel confident that they haven't shown that we did anything with the intent to favor or disfavor a party or an incumbent," said Raoul Cantero, a former Florida Supreme Court justice and lawyer for the defendants.

In the next couple weeks, both sides will present post trial arguments. Then the judge will decide if the maps need to be redrawn or not. The defense says they don't think the outcome will happen soon enough to effect the upcoming November elections.


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