A Florida judge has struck down parts of a new congressional district map proposed by Governor Ron DeSantis.
Background: The legislature initially approved a map which was ultimately vetoed by Gov. DeSantis, insisting the Legislature consider his own proposal.
DeSantis’s proposed map created 18 Republican-leaning seats and eight Democrat-leaning seats in the traditional swing state. The remaining two Miami-area districts would be competitive but are currently held by Republicans.
A Democrat-leaning congressional district currently held by Rep. Al Lawson (D) and stretching from Jacksonville west to Tallahassee would have been eliminated by DeSantis’s proposed map.
Context: DeSantis’s intervention in the redistricting process was considered unprecedented for a governor in modern times. The move took multiple Republican legislators aback especially considering that they had passed their own maps.
What Happened: Smith opted to adopt a map proposed by plaintiffs, which leaves much of the rest of DeSantis’s map intact. The revised version redraws northern Florida to maintain Lawson’s district.
“I am finding the enacted map is unconstitutional under the Fair District Amendment because it diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect candidates of their choice,” Smith said. (per The Hill)