On Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a new congressional map that promises to stretch the GOP's advantage in the Sunshine State from 16R-11D to a lopsided 20R-8D — all but wiping out Democrats' redistricting gains nationally. It's a dramatic turnaround from January, when Florida's GOP Senate passed a mostly status quo plan with strong bipartisan support — but not DeSantis's.
Democrats and civil rights groups are filing lawsuits, contending the DeSantis map violates both the state's "Fair Districts" anti-gerrymandering law and dilutes Black voting strength in violation of both state and federal VRA protections. But given the conservative domination of the state Supreme Court and recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, it's very likely this map will remain in effect for 2022.
The map's most controversial aspect: it obliterates Democratic Rep. Al Lawson's plurality Black 5th CD, which stretches from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, replacing it with a GOP-leaning seat in the Jacksonville suburbs. There's been a Black access seat anchored by Jacksonville since 1992, and DeSantis's contention the existing 5th CD is a racial gerrymander
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