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DeSantis’ plan to redistrict Florida was unconstitutional

DeSantis’ plan to redistrict Florida was unconstitutional

A redistricting plan proposed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida violates the state constitution and has been banned from use in future congressional elections because it reduces the ability of black voters in the state’s north to choose the representative of their choice. A state judge on Saturday.

Circuit Judge J. Lee Marsh sent the plan back to the Florida Legislature, instructing lawmakers to draw a new congressional district map that upholds the state constitution.

Voting rights groups challenged the plan in court, Marsh wrote, “showing that the enacted plan violates the Florida Constitution and deprives black voters of their ability to choose the candidate of their choice.”

It’s the latest decision to push back new congressional district maps in southern US states, saying they take voting power away from black voters.

In June, the federal Supreme Court rejected a map drawn by Republicans in Alabama in which two conservative and liberal ministers rejected an attempt to weaken a key voting rights law.

Not long after, the Supreme Court lifted its stay in a political redistricting case in Louisiana, raising the possibility that the Republican-majority state would have to redraw boundary lines to create a predominantly black second congressional district.

In each case, Republicans have challenged or announced they will appeal the decisions because they would benefit Democratic congressional candidates running in 2024 races under redistricting. The Florida case will end up in the Florida Supreme Court.

Every 10 years, and once every decade after taking the census, legislators from all 50 states, including Florida, redraw their political districts.

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DeSantis, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has been criticized for unseating black Democratic U.S. Rep. Al Lawson after he redrawn his district and split heavily black voters into conservative districts represented by white Republicans.

DeSantis led the redistricting process last year when, in an unprecedented move, he vetoed the Republican-majority Legislature’s map that would protect Lawson’s district.


Mike Schneider was at X, formerly Twitter @MikeSchneiderAP