A Florida appeals court ruled Friday to reinstate a redrawn congressional map that Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed ahead of the 2022 midterm elections after it was struck down by a lower court judge on May 11.
DeSantis sought to redraw the north Florida district of Democratic U. S. Rep. Al Lawson, arguing the district was gerrymandered based on race and unconstitutional. DeSantis also said his map is neutral on race, The Hill reported.
Lawson’s district links black communities over 200 miles from Jacksonville to Gadsden. The district would, if redrawn, change from being almost half black to between 12 and 25 percent black, according to local media.
Florida has until the June 13 to 17 qualifying period for federal office to finalize its redistricting maps.
DeSantis in March vetoed two of the GOP-controlled Legislature’s proposed congressional district maps. After that, the GOP-dominated House and Senate, instead of drawing new maps, asked DeSantis to do so.
But on May 11, DeSantis’ map was struck down in the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court.
Leon County Circuit Court Judge Layne Smith said DeSantis’ map was “unconstitutional under the Fair District Amendment … because it diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect the representative of their choice,” the Florida Phoenix reported.
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