Florida Judge Rejects Part Of DeSantis’s Gerrymandered House Map
A Florida judge has rejected Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ effort on Wednesday to redraw the state congressional map, calling it unconstitutional “because it diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect the representative of their choice.”
Judge J. Layne Smith, who DeSantis appointed, ruled in favor of the Democratic plaintiffs and will issue an injunction to stop the map from going into effect. The district in question runs from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, and is currently represented by Democratic Rep. Al Lawson. DeSantis’ map would have eliminated the district, arguing that the 150 miles it covered is unconstitutional.
A DeSantis spokesperson released a statement announcing that DeSantis would be appealing the ruling.
“As Judge Smith implied, these complex constitutional matters of law were always going to be decided at the appellate level,” the statement read. “We will undoubtedly be appealing his ruling and are confident the constitutional map enacted by the Florida legislature and signed into law passes legal muster. We look forward to defending it.”
Smith approved a map brought to him by the plaintiffs which reinstates Lawson’s district, but leaves most of DeSantis’ controversial map in place.
DeSantis’ map allowed for 18 Republican-majority districts and just eight Democratic leaning districts in one of the most important battleground states. The other two seats could go to either party in the highly contested Miami area.