Jacksonville has dropped its appeal of a court ruling finding the City Council had segregated voters by race, announcing in a motion it would focus its efforts instead on fighting a federal court’s remedial map.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the city of Jacksonville’s attempt to stay a court-ordered council district map.
A federal court has agreed to waive part of the Jacksonville charter’s residency requirements for City Council candidates ahead of the March elections.
The city of Jacksonville asked a federal court on Wednesday to waive a requirement that City Council candidates live in their districts for six months before qualifying.
The Jacksonville City Council has told the city’s lawyers to fight the latest redistricting ruling by asking a federal court to stay its earlier order requiring the city to implement a map drawn by civil-rights activists.
A federal court rejected for a second time the Jacksonville City Council’s redistricting plan, finding that the new plan passed by the council didn’t fix the racial gerrymandering that led the court to strike down a prior map.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard issued an order late Friday saying she would not rule on which Jacksonville City Council map to allow until Monday at the earliest.
City staff held a flurry of back-to-back meetings just a few days before the maps ever came to light. Courts have viewed repeated private meetings ahead of a big decision suspiciously in light of the state’s Government-in-the-Sunshine law.
The Jacksonville City Council failed to fix the problems with its original redistricting plan, plaintiffs argued Friday in a court filing asking a federal judge to reject the city’s second attempt at drawing new district lines.
A three-judge panel agreed Tuesday to allow voters to sue Florida’s secretary of state, claiming the state’s congressional redistricting plan discriminated against Black voters.