“This is about equitable representation for all Jacksonville residents,” Nicholas Warren, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The video attached to this story is from a previous, unrelated report.
This story was originally reported by the Florida Times-Union.
Lawyers argue new boundaries for Jacksonville’s City Council districts are unconstitutionally gerrymandered asked a federal judge Friday to block use of half of the 14 districts during the spring elections.
“This is about equitable representation for all Jacksonville residents,” Nicholas Warren, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said in written comments about seeking an injunction to prevent the new boundaries being used.
Lawyers representing 10 local residents, the Jacksonville NAACP branch, the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, the ACLU’s chapter in Northeast Florida and the voting rights group Florida Rising want the injunction as part of a lawsuit filed in May.
The injunction would affect council districts 7, 8, 9 and 10, all majority-Black places where critics argue African-American neighborhoods were “packed” together artificially, removing Black voting power from adjacent districts.
It would also affect council districts 2, 12 and 14, which the lawsuit contends were unnaturally whitened by the packing, as well as School Board districts 4, 5 and 6, whose boundaries are made by combining council districts.
If US District Judge Marcia Morales Howard grants the injunction, new boundaries will have to be developed with the judge’s approval by Dec. 15.
At a hearing this month, Howard was told the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office needs to know firm district lines by then to prepare for the first round of city elections on March 21, 2023.
Elections officials listed 26 people as active candidates Friday for the council seats the lawsuit involves, but they need