Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appeal to the Tallahassee, Florida state judge to block his new congressional map drawn by his staff as unconstitutional. Thursday’s notice of appeal came hours after Circuit Judge Layne Smith disseminated a demand to stop using the DeSantis map in the November election. The court found a Florida Constitution violation and a time to remedy it appropriately.
Smith appealed the case to the First District Court of Appeals because she believed they should use the map drawn by a Harvard professor. The appeal came as the Florida state is closer to the federal office qualifying period on June 13 and 17, 2022, and irrespective of the court’s decision, the case will go to the Supreme Court. DeSantis nominated three of the seven justices.
Seven voting rights groups challenged the map because it disassociated from the North Florida community maintained by Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat, where the Black community makes up 50% of the residents.
Smith agreed that the DeSantis map takes a 367,000 Black voters district and distributes them among four overwhelmingly white communities. Florida has the 28th Congressional District due to population growth.
DeSantis submitted his map just before the Senate approved its map. During the 60-day legislative session in March, the Senate did not consider DeSantis’ map. The House approved two maps, a primary map to appease DeSantis and a second is unconstitutional.
And yet, the House maps were later approved by the Senate, and DeSantis kept his word to veto the bill.
In a 21-page order released Thursday night, Smith said that a map is the best remedial option available to Florida’s administration and voters.
Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
Edited by Sheena Robertson
Politico: DeSantis appeals Florida judge’s order blocking his redistricting map; Matt Dixon
ABC News: Judge blocks DeSantis’ redistricting plan; state appeals
Miami Herald: Judge blocks DeSantis’ redistricting plan; state appeals
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Inset Image Courtesy of David Hamill’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License