Updated May 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Florida judge says DeSantis' redistricting map is unconstitutional

lorida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a campaign event for Republican Senate candidate from Nevada Adam Laxalt (not pictured) at Stoneys Rockin Country on April 27, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a campaign event on April 27 in Las Vegas. Photo: Ronda Churchill/Getty Images

A Florida judge on Wednesday struck down a portion of a redistricting map drawn by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and his staff.

Driving the news: "I am finding that the enacted map is unconstitutional under the Fair District amendment ... because it diminishes African Americans' ability to elect the representatives of their choice," Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith said.

  • Smith is expected to issue a formal order on Thursday or Friday to ensure that the maps are not in effect during November's election, AP reports.

Why it matters: DeSantis' plan dismantles the North Florida seat now held by a Black Democrat.

  • The new maps DeSantis called "race-neutral" make it harder for North Florida voters to elect a Black member of Congress in the 5th Congressional District, where nearly half its residents are Black.

Flashback: A Democratic-aligned redistricting group joined voting rights and civil rights organizations to file a suit against Florida’s new congressional map the same day DeSantis signed it into law late last month.

Editor's note: This is a developing story and has been updated throughout.

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