Ron DeSantis is fighting for an anti-Black congressional map already struck down as unconstitutional

Ron DeSantis is fighting for an anti-Black congressional map already struck down as unconstitutional

On Sunday, September 3, Leon County Circuit Judge J. Lee Marsh struck down a GOP-sponsored congressional map as unfair to Black voters and sent it back to the Florida State Legislature to be redrawn. But Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Republican allies, according to The Guardian's Sam Levine, aren't giving up on their gerrymandering plans.

"From 2016 until last year, Florida's 5th Congressional District had stretched more than 150 miles across the northern part of the state, from Jacksonville to just west of Tallahassee," Levine explains in a report published on September 7. "It was a portion of the state once home to the Ku Klux Klan and lynchings. In 2022, it was represented by Al Lawson, a Black Democrat, and 46 percent of eligible voters were Black."

Levine adds, "That year, DeSantis went out of his way to chop the district up into four majority-white ones, all of which elected a Republican last fall."

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DeSantis has wasted no time appealing Marsh's ruling, and according to Levine, the case is "likely to be decided by the Florida Supreme Court" — where five of the seven justices are DeSantis appointees.

"While there are legal battles over Black representation in redistricting underway across the U.S. South," Levine observes, "the fight in Florida is unique. Other cases are focused on whether states like Alabama and Louisiana are required to add districts to ensure Black voters can choose their preferred candidate, but the Florida case is the only one that involves dismantling an existing district that was allowing Black voters to do so."

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Read The Guardian's full report at this link.

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