Republicans received some favorable redistricting news on Saturday when a Florida appeals court reversed a lower court's September ruling striking down a gerrymander signed into law in 2022 by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Democrats and civil rights groups have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Florida, but the latest development makes it much less likely a plurality-Black district linking Tallahassee and Jacksonville will be restored in time for 2024.
Back in September, Circuit Judge Lee Marsh — an appointee of former Gov. Rick Scott — had struck down the DeSantis map for violating the "non-diminishment" clause of Florida's Fair Districts Amendment, a constitutional reform passed by voters in 2010.
The Fair Districts law prohibits drawing districts that diminish racial or language minorities' opportunity to elect candidates of choice. Even DeSantis' own lawyers had admitted in court that the 2022 map — which dismantled a previously 46% Black 5th District that reliably elected Democratic Rep. Al Lawson and installed an all-Republican lineup of North Florida districts — diminished the region's Black voters' ability to elect a preferred candidate.
Our subscribers have first access to individual race pages for each House, Senate and Governors race, which will include race ratings (each race is rated on a seven-point scale) and a narrative analysis pertaining to that race.