DeSantis redistricting map blocked by judge

DeSantis redistricting map blocked by judge

A state judge has ruled that a map of Congress approved by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and drawn by his staff is unconstitutional because it divides a district where black voters can choose their representatives. Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith said Wednesday that he will issue a formal order Thursday or Friday to prevent the maps from going into effect in the November election. He made it clear that he would rule in favor of voting rights groups challenging the maps. The governor’s office issued this statement: “As Justice Smith hinted, these complex constitutional issues of law would always be decided at the appellate level. We will certainly appeal their ruling and are confident that the constitutional map enacted by the Florida legislature and signed into law passes the legal test. We are looking forward to defending him.” Voting rights groups have said that the electoral maps drawn up by DeSantis and approved by Republican state lawmakers violate and ignore the state constitution. The map eliminates three congressional seats held by Democrats, turning others that were competitive into Republican-leaning seats. Also, the map destroys the North Florida district, CD-5, which is majority black. At a court hearing Wednesday, an expert testified that it affects more than 360,000 black voters. “In none of them would blacks be able to elect their preferred candidates,” said Harvard’s Dr. Stephen Ansolabehere. Critics say the governor’s map violates the Fair District Amendment approved by voters in 2010 to prevent lawmakers from making maps that favor certain political parties. The governor’s side says that goes against the US Constitution right in the equal protection clause of the Federal Constitution. It makes the provision of the Florida Constitution unconstitutional,” said Mohammad Jazil, attorney for the Florida secretary of state. The lawsuit also targets District 7 in central Florida, currently held by Democrat Stephanie Murphy, saying the map makes it much whiter and more friendly to Republicans.

A state judge has ruled that a map of Congress approved by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and drawn by his staff is unconstitutional because it divides a district where black voters can choose their representatives.

Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith said Wednesday that he will issue a formal order Thursday or Friday to prevent the maps from going into effect in the November election.

He made it clear that he would rule in favor of voting rights groups that would challenge the maps.

The governor’s office issued this statement:

“As Justice Smith hinted, these complex constitutional issues of law were always going to be decided at the appellate level. We will certainly appeal their ruling and are confident that the constitutional map enacted by the Florida legislature and signed into law passes the legal test. We are looking forward to defending him.”

Voting rights groups have said that the electoral maps drawn up by DeSantis and approved by Republican state lawmakers violate and ignore the state constitution. The map eliminates three congressional seats held by Democrats, turning others that were competitive into Republican-leaning seats.

Also, the map destroys the North Florida district, CD-5, which is majority black.

At a court hearing Wednesday, an expert testified that it affects more than 360,000 black voters.

“In none of them would blacks be able to elect their preferred candidates,” said Dr. Stephen Ansolabehere of Harvard.

Critics say the governor’s map violates the Fair District Amendment approved by voters in 2010 to prevent lawmakers from making maps that favor certain political parties.

The governor’s side says that is against the United States Constitution.

“The non-diminution clause of the Florida Constitution conflicts with the equal protection clause of the Federal Constitution. It renders the provision of the Florida Constitution unconstitutional,” said Mohammad Jazil, attorney for the Florida secretary of state. .

The suit also takes aim at District 7 in central Florida, currently held by Democrat Stephanie Murphy, saying the map makes it much whiter and more friendly to Republicans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.