TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

An attorney representing groups suing the state says that Republicans in the Florida Legislature were running a "shadow process" intended to thwart the will of voters when it put together new political maps.  

In a prelude to a trial that will start later this month, attorneys for the Legislature and a coalition challenging Congressional maps adopted in 2012 clashed in a courtroom on Friday.

The trial will decide whether or not the GOP-controlled Legislature ignored a constitutional mandate that legislators can't draw districts intended to protect incumbents or members of a certain political party.

An attorney representing the Florida House contended that the defeat of U.S. Rep. Allen West in the 2012 elections was proof that lawmakers did not draw the maps in a partisan fashion.