State judge blocks DeSantis redistricting card; The 5th Congressional District will be used in the 2022 election cycle
Florida State Judge Layne Smith Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction on Florida’s new congressional map, preventing the newly proposed map from being used in the next election cycle
The lawsuit was aimed at stopping the government’s implementation. Ron DeSantis‘ self-drawn map, which intended to dissolve Florida’s 5th congressional district, which is held by the Democratic representative Al Lawson. The lawsuit alleges that the map violates the Florida Constitution and the voter-approved Fair Districts Amendment by reducing the strength of black voters, with whom Smith governed jointly.
DeSantis submitted his own redistricting proposal in March, an action barely taken by a sitting governor, that would do away with the Northern District of Florida.
The governor first sought advice from the Florida Supreme Court earlier this year on whether his proposed redistricting plan would be valid under the Fair Districts standard.
Equitable Districts changed the practice of drawing congressional district boundaries to establish equitable practices in districts with high concentrations of minority voters. The state Supreme Court declined to administer counsel to DeSantis.
“An opinion of this Court in the middle of the legislative process would necessarily interfere with the exclusive power of the Legislature to make laws,” the Florida Supreme Court said in a legal filing. “Although the maps that the legislator could adopt remain entirely hypothetical, the threat that the request for an advisory opinion will drag the Court into the legislative process is not hypothetical. It is understandable that the legislator hesitates to act when this Court could issue an opinion affecting its powers in matters of cartography. »
Democratic opponents hailed the decision, while the governor’s office is expected to appeal immediately.
While enduring the special session on redistricting and the dastardly process of eliminating black voter representation in Congress, I held on to hope and faith that the court would do its job, and today it did. done,” said Rep. Kelly Skidmore. “No matter how repeatedly they tried to justify themselves, it 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 United States Constitution.”
If Smith’s decision is ultimately appealed, the case would be delegated to the 1st District Court of Appeals, then if appealed again, it would go to the Florida Supreme Court. The 1st District could also choose to send it directly to the highest court in the state.
This is news in development and will continue to be updated.