A trial over the constitutionality of Florida’s Senate districts is set for 2025

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State Sen. Darryl Rouson
State Sen. Darryl Rouson

©2024 The News Service of Florida

After allowing the lawsuit to move forward last month, a three-judge panel has scheduled a trial in June 2025 in a challenge to the constitutionality of a Florida Senate redistricting plan.

The panel issued an order last week setting the trial for the week of June 9, 2025, in federal court in Tampa.

The lawsuit, filed in April, alleges that Senate District 16 and Senate District 18 in the Tampa Bay area were racially gerrymandered in the 2022 redistricting plan and that they violate constitutional equal-protection rights.

District 16, which is represented by Sen. Darryl Rouson, a Black Democrat from St. Petersburg, crosses Tampa Bay to include parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

White Republican Nick DiCeglie of Indian Rocks Beach represents District 18, which is made up of part of Pinellas County.

Attorneys for Secretary of State Cord Byrd and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, argued the case should be dismissed.

But the panel of federal judges last month denied the request. Unlike typical cases, three-judge panels hear redistricting cases.

The panel is made up of Andrew Brasher, a judge on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. District Judges Thomas Barber and Charlene Edwards Honeywell.

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