The affected seats are FL-05 (Democrat Corrine Brown), FL-13 (Republican David Jolly), FL-14 (Democrat Kathy Castor), FL-21 (Democrat Ted Deutch), FL-22 (Democrat Lois Frankel), FL-25 (Republican Mario Diaz-Balart), FL-26 (Republican Carlos Curbelo), and FL-27 (Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen). But it's a good bet that plenty of other seats will be dramatically changed for the new map. As of Thursday, the Republican-led state legislature has 100 days to submit a new map, and the court will need to approve it before it goes into effect for the 2016 elections.
The court ruled that the current map violates the state constitution's Fair District amendment, which prevents lawmakers from drawing districts intended to favor incumbents or parties. The GOP had complete control over redistricting and the court decided that they did not respect the voter-passed law. The ruling only applied to the congressional map, but it's likely we'll see some changes for the Sunshine State's state legislative districts.
It's impossible to know exactly what House members will benefit and which ones will be hurt until we see the new map, but it looks very likely that the GOP will be on the defensive in the swingy St. Petersburg-area 13th District. The GOP deliberately put several heavily African American areas in the neighboring 14th District to help dilute FL-13's Democratic vote, and the court noted this in their ruling. Obama won the current 13th District 50-49 and Democrats were already planning to target David Jolly. The congressman has been mulling a Senate bid and if his seat becomes bluer, he may decide to take his chances on a statewide run. The 14th backed the president 65-34, and Castor should be safe even if she ends up with some more conservative areas.
The Tampa Bay Times' Adam Smith takes an early look at who else this decision might impact, and on balance the news is good for Team Blue. Jolly is the Republican most likely to be hurt, but there's a good chance that either John Mica or Daniel Webster's Central Florida seats will go from safely red turf into far more competitive territory.
Carlos Curbelo, who was already a top Democratic target, is also likely to take in more of Democratic-leaning Homestead, but it may not change his seat Miami-area seat dramatically. Obama won the current 26th 53-46, but the GOP still does well downballot here.
While Rep. Ted Yoho's secure seat isn't likely to be in play for Democrats no matter what, he could draw a challenger if his constituency changes enough. Yoho won his 2012 primary in a complete surprise and he hasn't done much to ingratiate himself with the GOP establishment. An ambitious Republican could try and unseat Yoho if he picks up enough new constituents.
The news isn't all good for Democrats. It's quite possible that Gwen Graham's competitive North Florida seat will become safely Republican. Graham could conceivably run for Senate instead, though she wouldn't have an easy time jumpstarting a campaign this quickly. There's also talk of Graham being thrown into the same safely blue seat as Rep. Corrine Brown. South Florida Reps. Ted Deutsch, Alcee Hastings, and Lois Frankel may also see major changes to their seats, and we could see Deutsch and Frankel crammed into one seat.
The GOP could try to appeal the ruling in a federal court but as Rick Hasen points out, they may not get too far. The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld Arizona's independent redistricting commission, which drew the Grand Canyon State's congressional seats without any input from the legislature. Now that the highest court in the land has ruled that voters can place limits on a state legislature's ability to draw the lines, it won't be easy for the Republicans to argue that the Florida Supreme Court overstepped their authority.
There are a lot of dominos left to fall here but overall, Democrats should benefit under a more fair map. We'll be watching closely as things develop.