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Democrats preparing for GOP gerrymandering in Florida

Democrats in Tallahassee are worried their Republican counterparts in the legislature will return to their partisan gerrymandering ways at their next opportunity, now that the Florida Supreme Court majority has shifted this year to conservative from liberal.

But GOP lawmakers told the Orlando Sentinel they do not have designs on drawing districts for the coming decade that are aggressively shaped to perpetuate their political strength.

How the state's top court views partisan mapmaking could be crucial now that the U.S. Supreme Court has turned the regulation of such behavior over to the states.

The current state Senate and congressional maps were remade in 2015 after a state judge said the old lines violated state requirements that district boundaries follow city and county contours as much as possible. The GOP nonetheless holds a 23 to 17 majority in the state Senate and a 14 to 13 edge in the U.S. House delegation, the third-biggest on Capitol Hill. Florida's growth means it's sure to get at least one, and maybe two, additional congressional seats for the 2020s.

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