AP

Judge blocks DeSantis’ redistricting plan; state appeals

May 13, 2022, 3:51 PM | Updated: 4:30 pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A judge’s ruling that a new congressional map drawn by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ staff is unconstitutional has been appealed by the state.

Thursday’s notice of appeal came hours after Circuit Judge Layne Smith issued an injunction to prevent the DeSantis map from being used in the November election.

“Because this Court has found a violation of the Florida Constitution and that there is time to remedy the violation, this Court must consider what remedy is appropriate,” Smith said in his order. “This Court finds that a narrow remedy — one that addresses only the diminishment discussed in this order — is the most appropriate.”

Smith ordered that a map drawn by a Harvard professor who testified for the plaintiffs should be used, but the state’s appeal keeps the DeSantis map in place. The case goes to the 1st District Court of Appeals.

Florida gained a 28th congressional district because of population growth over the past decade, meaning Smith couldn’t have ordered current maps to be used while the lawsuit continues.

The appeal comes as the state gets closer to the June 13 to 17 qualifying period for federal office, and regardless what the appellate court decides, the map will likely then be taken to the state Supreme Court. DeSantis appointed three of the seven current justices.

The map was challenged by several voting rights group, who argued it was unconstitutional because it broke up a north Florida district held by Democratic Rep. Al Lawson where Black residents make up nearly 50% of the population. Smith agreed, saying that the DeSantis map takes a district with 367,000 Black voters and distributes them among four districts that would be overwhelmingly white.

In an unprecedented move, DeSantis, who is a potential 2024 presidential candidate, interjected himself into the process by submitting his own map just before the Senate was set to approve its map.

During the 60-day legislative session that ended in March, the Senate did not take the governor’s map into consideration, and the House approved two maps, a primary map to try to appease DeSantis and a second in case the first map was found to be unconstitutional.

While the House was debating its proposal, DeSantis used Twitter to say it would be dead on arrival. The Senate later approved the House maps and DeSantis kept his promise and vetoed the bill.

DeSantis has said Lawson’s district is gerrymandered based on race and claimed that violates the U.S. Constitution. He has said his map is neutral on race. Lawson’s district extends 200 miles (320 kilometers) from Jacksonville to Gadsden in an effort to link Black communities.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

48 minutes ago

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

2 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

2 days ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

6 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

7 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Judge blocks DeSantis’ redistricting plan; state appeals