From The Tributary. Note that a separate lawsuit challenging this same part of the congressional map is pending in federal court, where the trial has been completed.
A Florida appeals court upheld Gov. Ron DeSantis’ congressional redistricting map, finding a lower state court should have dismissed a lawsuit challenging North Florida’s districts.
Even though DeSantis’ lawyers admitted his map violated the state constitution by diminishing Black voting power, the 1st District Court of Appeal said state voting protections shouldn’t apply to a Jacksonville-to-Tallahassee congressional district ordered by the Florida Supreme Court last decade.
In 2021, DeSantis vetoed an earlier attempt by the Florida Legislature to comply with anti-gerrymandering protections in the state constitution, arguing one of those protections, the “non-diminishment” clause, violated the U.S. Constitution by protecting Black voters’ ability to elect candidates of their choice.
Instead, he replaced the map with one of his own, which created whiter, more Republican districts in North Florida.
Friday’s decision was eight-to-two in favor of upholding DeSantis’ contested districts and striking down the lower court decision. Three judges recused. The plaintiffs will likely appeal the case to the Florida Supreme Court.