Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Florida Judge Vetoes the Congressional Map DeSantis Drew

After the 2020 census, Florida got an extra House seat and was thus forced to redistrict. The Republican-controlled legislature went at it with a vengeance and produced a hugely gerrymandered map that they presented to Ron DeSantis to sign off on. He refused and vetoed the map. Instead he drew his own map that was even more gerrymandered than the one the legislators dared make. In particular, DeSantis' map chopped up FL-05, a majority-Black district that ran along the Georgia border and covered the Black areas of Tallahassee and Jacksonville. The district had previously elected Al Lawson, a Black former state representative. The legislature approved DeSantis' map and he signed the bill, eliminating one Black Democrat from the Florida delegation.

The Democrats sued. On Saturday, a state judge ruled that the Florida map that DeSantis drew violated the state Constitution. Specifically, the Fair Districts Amendment to the state Constitution states that lawmakers can't redraw maps that diminish minority voters' ability to elect a representative of their choosing. The state has already said it will appeal. The case will surely get to the Florida Supreme Court. It could possibly get into the federal courts, although the issue is the meaning of a provision of the Florida Constitution, which is not a federal matter.

If the judge's ruling sticks, that will be +1 for the Democrats. Throw in similar cases in Alabama and Louisiana, and that is +3 for the Democrats. There are also a couple of other cases in progress. The Republicans will have a five-vote majority after the vacant Utah seat is filled (see below). They can ill afford to lose three seats due to court rulings. (V)

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