DeSantis Could Take Huge Hit If Election Map Is Redrawn

( – In April 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) redrew the congressional map for the Sunshine State. The reason he gave for his changes eliminating two entire districts held by black Democrats was that his new map would be “race-neutral.” As predicted, the new map triggered a legal backlash on the state and federal levels. Congressional candidate Cindy Banyai called it a “master class in gerrymandering.”

On September 26, the federal trial challenging the maps started. Common Cause Florida, the state’s NAACP, and Fair Districts Now brought a lawsuit in February to eliminate DeSantis’ map and force a redraw. The legal proceedings are expected to run through the end of the week. It’s only one of many recently launched in the US. In June, the Supreme Court ordered Alabama to redo its congressional map, ruling that the redrawn voting map harmed black voters. Alabama appealed, asking SCOTUS to look at the issue again, but it refused, sticking by its original rule.

As for DeSantis, his map reportedly resulted in the GOP gaining four seats in the state’s House in 2022. He would presumably lose them if Florida is forced to redraw. Attorney Greg Baker accused the governor of pushing through his version of a fair map by “sound-bite bullying” when he said he would reject any map keeping the district in North Florida previously held by a black legislator. The court filing said DeSantis discriminated against black people intentionally, violating the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.

The person who drew the new Florida voting map, DeSantis’ Acting Chief of Staff Alex Kelly, said the governor never told him to cut out a “black opportunity district.” The state leader felt the old maps actually favored black voters over white voters, asking Kelly to redo the map out of fairness to all.

A Florida state court already ruled that the map was unconstitutional because it disenfranchised black voters, but the state appealed that decision.

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