100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Judge throws out Florida Gov. DeSantis' congressional map, orders new map drawn by experts
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In a swift reversal of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ bold political gambit, a Leon County Circuit Court judge…
Florida judge blocks DeSantis’ congressional redistricting effort
DeSantis personally pushed the GOP-led Legislature to approve the map, which boosts the number of Republican-held seats in the nation’s…
Judge blocks Ron DeSantis' racist map
DeSantis' plan "diminishes African Americans' ability to elect the representatives of their choice," judge says
DeSantis appeals Florida judge's order blocking his redistricting map
Florida’s redistricting process has dragged on for months.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Judge strikes down Florida governor’s ‘unconstitutional’ election map
Blow to Ron DeSantis as judge says new congressional districts made it harder for Black voters to elect their preferred…
Fabiola Santiago: DeSantis tries to rig elections by gerrymandering, but Florida judge says, hell no!
Everyone familiar with basic Florida law knew that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to manhandle the redistricting process for political gain…
Get all your news in one place
Latest National news:
COVID-19 made me sell meth, 'disgraced' drug trafficker claims
The 37-year-old faces the prospect of deportation after he was sentenced on Monday to nine-and-a-half months in jail.
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Barnaby Joyce signals Nationals could drop support for net zero emissions
Party leader refuses to rule out split from Liberals, saying it’s a ‘decision for both parties’ but his ‘preference’ is…
Federal election 2022 live: Albanese and Wong head to Quad meeting in Japan; Frydenberg concedes Kooyong to Monique Ryan
Follow all the day’s developments
Health Minister infected as COVID hospital numbers remain high
The ACT recorded 622 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours until Sunday 8pm.
Even When Labor Frees The Murugappans, It Will Still Support Offshore Detention For Everyone Else
If Labor doesn't bring the Biloela family home ASAP...
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
'Far more serious' child sex charges likely for former world champion climbing coach
More alleged victims have been identified, a Canberra court heard on Monday.
Scanning the brain for food addiction
Topics: Food for thought and piano removal.

Florida judge rejects Ron DeSantis congressional map that ‘diminishes’ Black voters

By Alex Woodward
REUTERS

A Florida circuit court judge has blocked the state’s congressional redistricting plan drawn by Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration that would likely eliminate two of the state’s four districts represented by Black Democrats and create four more districts that lean Republican.

Judge Layne Smith, who issued a ruling from the bench on 11 May, said the map violates the state’s constitutional provisions governing the redistricting process because it “diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect candidates of their choice” in Florida’s 5th District, which spans Jacksonville to Tallahassee.

The ruling calls on the state to adopt a map that restores the boundaries of the district – currently represented by Democratic US Rep Al Lawson – to represent a near majority-Black voting age population, dealing a blow to the Republican governor, whose office has pledged to appeal.

A version approved by the governor and Republican state legislators would reduce Florida’s 5th District to nearly a third of its original size and disperse roughly 370,000 Black voters among four other districts, diluting their voting power, according to voting rights advocates.

“The minority vote is lowered enough that you would expect it to be substantially harder for minorities to elect the candidate of their choice,” said Judge Smith, who was initially appointed by then-Governor Rick Scott and promoted by Governor DeSantis.

Florida state legislators initially passed maps that still included Republican gains, but the governor pledged to veto both of them. He convened a special legislative session to approve the plan; Democratic legislators staged a sit-in demonstration ahead of a final vote in protest.

Voting rights advocates launched a legal challenge, arguing that the plan violates the state’s Fair Districts standards, which were approved by Florida voters to prevent gerrymandered districts.

Rep Lawson said in a statement that “DeSantis is wrong for enacting this Republican-leaning map that is in clear violation of the US and state constitutions.”

“It is critical to maintain [the 5th District] so minority voters have a voice at the ballot box in November,” he said. I am optimistic that future courts will also do what is right.”

Democratic state Rep Joseph Geller, who sits on the House Redistricting Committee, said in a statement following the ruling that the governor “chose to waste taxpayer dollars convening a special session to double-down on diminishing minority voting rights.”

“While this isn’t the final opinion, we have to continue advocating for a constitutionally compliant Congressional map that does not infringe on Floridians’ right,” he said.

Kelly Skidmore, Democratic ranking member of the Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee, said the ruling “should come as no surprise to the governor and this Republican-led legislature that the map is a violation of Florida’s Fair Districts amendments and the US constitution.”

The latest congressional map is among the last to await approval amid a contested redistricting cycle across the US, the once-a-decade process of redrafting the nation’s political boundaries based on US Census results, as candidates head into 2022 midterm elections that will determine the balance of power in Congress.

Florida’s primary elections begin on 23 August. Qualifiying begins on 13 June.

The nation’s third-largest state gained one congressional seat in 2022 because of its growing population, for a total of 28 seats in the US House of Representatives.

Governor DeSantis’ proposed map would also dismantle a Tampa Bay-area seat held by Democratic Rep Charlie Crist, who is running for governor.

A statement from the governor’s communications director Taryn Fenske said that the state will appeal the ruling, arguing that “these complex constitutional matters of law were always going to be decided at the appellate level.”

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Judge throws out Florida Gov. DeSantis' congressional map, orders new map drawn by experts
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In a swift reversal of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ bold political gambit, a Leon County Circuit Court judge…
Florida judge blocks DeSantis’ congressional redistricting effort
DeSantis personally pushed the GOP-led Legislature to approve the map, which boosts the number of Republican-held seats in the nation’s…
Judge blocks Ron DeSantis' racist map
DeSantis' plan "diminishes African Americans' ability to elect the representatives of their choice," judge says
DeSantis appeals Florida judge's order blocking his redistricting map
Florida’s redistricting process has dragged on for months.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Judge strikes down Florida governor’s ‘unconstitutional’ election map
Blow to Ron DeSantis as judge says new congressional districts made it harder for Black voters to elect their preferred…
Fabiola Santiago: DeSantis tries to rig elections by gerrymandering, but Florida judge says, hell no!
Everyone familiar with basic Florida law knew that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to manhandle the redistricting process for political gain…
Get all your news in one place