May 24, 2022

Judge to shoot down new Florida congressional map as unconstitutional

A Florida court announced on Wednesday that it plans to block a congressional map created by the state’s Republican-led lawmakers.

Judge Layne Smith said that a portion of the congressional map was likely unconstitutional.

“I am finding that the enacted map is unconstitutional under the Fair Districts Amendment … because it diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect the representatives of their choice,” Smith said.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the first map sent to him for signing, later approving a second version that was then tied up in a lawsuit by civil rights groups.

“Voting rights groups challenged the map in a lawsuit focused on the majority-Black district, which is currently held by U.S. Representative Al Lawson, a Black Democrat,” Reuters reported. The state’s current primary election is scheduled for Aug. 23.

The ruling will lead to a scramble to quickly determine the final map ahead of primary voting. The state faces both reelections involving DeSantis as well as new congressional elections during the midterms.

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