Florida congressional map need not be redrawn, says court in reversal

3 months ago 30

September decision finding Republicans discriminated against Black voters with reconfigured districts overruled on appeal

A Florida appellate court ruled on Friday that lawmakers do not have to redraw the state’s congressional map, reversing a September decision that found Republicans discriminated against Black voters when it reconfigured districts in the northern part of the state.

The ruling from the first district court of appeal is the latest development in a long-running legal battle over Black representation in the state. In 2015, the state supreme court imposed a district that stretched from Jacksonville to west of Tallahassee in order to give Black voters there a chance to elect the candidate of their choosing. From 2015 until 2022, voters in the fifth congressional district elected Al Lawson, a Black Democrat, to represent them. But in 2022, Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, went out of his way to dismantle it, chopping it up into four majority-white districts that all elected Republican candidates.

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