Apr 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Civil rights groups sue Florida officials over new congressional map

Picture of Ron DeSantis
Photo: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Civil rights groups on Friday filed a lawsuit against Florida state officials over the newly passed congressional map that they say "[diminishes] the voting power of Black residents."

Driving the news: The lawsuit alleges that the map, proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), violates the Fair Districts Amendment of the state Constitution. The provision prohibits legislators from drawing lines favoring specific political parties or incumbents.

  • The groups are asking a circuit court in Leon County, Florida to declare that DeSantis' map or individual districts in the map are unconstitutional.
  • DeSantis is not named as one of the defendants in the suit.

The big picture: The lawsuit comes a day after state lawmakers gave final approval to DeSantis' map, which eliminated two congressional districts that are represented by Black Democrats.

  • The map could help Florida Republicans gain four seats in the House of Representatives in the upcoming midterm elections, per CNN.
  • DeSantis is expected to sign the map into law.

Details: The civil rights groups' lawsuit alleges that the map "intentionally favors the Republican Party at nearly every turn, eliminating three Democratic seats and transforming competitive seats into Republican-leaning ones."

  • It also quotes a Princeton University professor that called the map "one of the most extreme gerrymanders in the country."
  • Overall, the map is "the result Florida voters sought to eradicate in passing the Fair Districts Amendment."

Go deeper: 7 new redistricting maps receive "F" grade

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