Florida legislature approves DeSantis map, which could give GOP four more U.S. House seat

Florida's legislature approved a congressional mapping Thursday. This could give Republicans four additional House seats and would eliminate two heavily Black districts in Jacksonville and Orlando.

Florida legislature approves DeSantis map, which could give GOP four more U.S. House seat

Republican Governor also won a political victory with the map's passage. Ron DeSantis was a participant in the redistricting process. He introduced several maps with more aggressive gerrymanders , and vetoed the original plan. DeSantis vetoed the redistricting legislation and called back members for a special session.

This map would result in 20 Republican-leaning and eight Democratic-leaning electoral seats. In the current configuration, Republicans currently hold 16 seats while Democrats have 11.

In the new map, it is difficult to recognize Florida's 5th District. It is represented by Al Lawson, a Democratic Congressman, and has had a Black representative from 1993 to 1993. To connect major Black communities, the original district stretched from Jacksonville to Tallahassee.

Now, Jacksonville is divided into two districts: the 4th and 5th. It also removes Black voters by redrawing Florida's 10th District, which was left open by Val Demings, a Democratic congresswoman.

After the 2020 Census data were released, Florida was granted a seat at Congress.

After a debate in which many Democratic Representatives raised grievances about what they consider a discriminatory map, the Florida House voted for the map 68-38. The Senate approved the map earlier in this week.

Several Black representatives protested the map at one point of the house and caused an informal recess in the house.

The Republicans called for a vote, and the quorum was established despite protests at the back. Angie Nixon and Travaris McCurdy, both Black Democratic representatives, led a sit-down protest. They wore T-shirts that read "Stop The Black Attack," according .

Dr. Martin Luther King said that a man cannot ride on your back if it's bent. During the debate, Democratic Rep. Yvonne Hayes Hinson stated that she was standing tall today, and that she will not bow down to the ego or the ambitions of any individual who would like to take us back.

Republicans and DeSantis defended the decision of the map to create a Black community in Florida's 5th District. They claimed that the current layout, which covers more than 200 miles in northern Florida is not compact enough. In 2015, Florida's Supreme Court approved this version of the district.

In a memo attached with their veto, they also stated that the district violates U.S. Constitution as it assigns voters "primarily based upon race."

On Tuesday, Alex Kelly, DeSantis deputy chief of staff, stated that "Race" and "political partisan data are in no way connected at all to the drawing of any of these districts on the map." Kelly was presenting their map to a Florida Senate Committee.

Daniel Henry, the chair of the Democratic Party in Duval County stated that "it will prevent African American voters who live above the I-4 corridor being able to receive representation in Congress that is African Americans." "25% of African Americans who live in this state are above the I-4 corridor. With these maps that the legislature is about passing, they will almost ensure that African Americans won't have any voice in federal representation."

Although there have been attempts in federal and state court to stop the map being adopted for this election cycle, most state operatives who are watching redistricting in the State expect them to be settled after the November elections.

Michael McDonald, a redistricting expert, and a political science professor at Florida, stated that it is more difficult to challenge the 5th District's federal court status because it does not reach the 50% Black population threshold required to ensure protected status under Section 2 of the Voting rights Act.

He said that it was possible to draw a fifth congressional district with a majority of black voters, but it is not one you would want to bring home to your mother. "I don’t believe its shape would work with the Supreme Court and federal courts."

McDonald's was named as a possible "special master" to assist in redrawing lines for DeSantis’ lawsuit. However, McDonald's stated that any legal challenges might have more success in state court. Florida's "Fair District" redistricting amends were passed last decade. They would be used to prevent partisan and racial manipulation.

The party also has a slight advantage nationally due to Florida's increased number of Republican seats. The Republicans have been outnumbered by Democrats, who control redistricting in more states than Republicans. This is despite the fact that they have independent commissions and state legislatures.

Florida's legislature passed a bill that would remove Disney's special self-governing district status. This was due to opposition to the "Don't Say Gay” bill.


 

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