May 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Appeals court reinstates DeSantis redistricting map

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference at the University of Miami Health System.
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference at the University of Miami Health System on May 17. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Florida appeals court on Friday reinstated a new congressional map backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, allowing the controversial new district boundaries to take effect for now.

Driving the news: "Based on a preliminary review, the court has determined there is a high likelihood that the temporary injunction is unlawful, because by awarding a preliminary remedy to the appellees' on their claim, the order 'frustrated the status quo, rather than preserved it,'" the appeals court said.

  • "Given the exigency of the circumstances and the need for certainty and continuity as election season approaches, on the court’s own motion, the stay of the temporary injunction is reinstated," per the ruling.

The other side: The plaintiffs said Friday in a statement that the ruling "does nothing to change the fact that the Governor's proposed map is a blatantly unconstitutional attack on Black representation in Florida," CNN reports.

The big picture: The move comes one week after a circuit judge struck down a portion of DeSantis's redistricting map, saying "it diminishes African Americans' ability to elect the representatives of their choice."

  • The maps, which 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.
  • The state appealed Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith's ruling last week, shortly after his decision.

What to watch: The case is likely to head to the Florida Supreme Court, per Dave Wasserman, senior editor at The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter.

Go deeper ... Florida judge says DeSantis' redistricting map is unconstitutional

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