U.S. Justice Dept. Approves Fla. Redistricting Maps

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Justice Department has approved the Legislature's redistricting maps for the state House and Senate as well as Florida's 27 congressional seats.

The approval, known as preclearance, came Monday.

The Justice Department or a court must give preclearance to election law changes including the redistricting maps to make sure they comply with the federal Voting Rights Act.

It's required because of past racial discrimination in five counties.

Leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature hailed the decision. It came three days after the Florida Supreme Court affirmed a revised Senate map.

The justices earlier approved the House map but sent the Senate plan back to lawmakers for a do-over because it violated new anti-gerrymandering standards in the Florida Constitution.

The Legislature's congressional map, though, remains under challenge in a trial court.

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