Should Election Interference Case Against Trump Be Dismissed?

Florida Court of Appeals Overturns Decision on DeSantis’s Congressional District Maps

In Florida, a state appeals court has overruled a lower court’s decision that declared Governor Ron DeSantis’s congressional maps unconstitutional. The appeals court argued that the lower court incorrectly applied legal precedent and should have dismissed the lawsuit against the maps. The controversy revolves around the Fair Districts Amendments in the Florida Constitution, which were passed in 2010 to limit partisan gerrymandering. This legal issue dates back to a 2015 Florida Supreme Court case, which found that state Republicans’ 2010 congressional maps violated these amendments, particularly concerning districts in Jacksonville.

DeSantis introduced new congressional maps in January 2022, leading to legal challenges based on claims of reducing Black voters’ influence in Jacksonville by dividing the city into multiple districts. The lower court had previously discarded these maps in September, citing the 2015 Supreme Court case. However, the appeals court found that this case was not a binding precedent and ruled in favor of the new maps. They argued that the lower court should have considered the Black communities of Tallahassee and Jacksonville separately for redistricting purposes.

The ruling primarily affects North Florida’s congressional districts, currently held by Republicans, and will stay in effect for the 2024 elections unless overturned by the Florida Supreme Court. Genesis Robinson, political director of the activist group Equal Ground and a plaintiff in the case, criticized the decision, saying it undermines voting rights in Florida and accusing Governor DeSantis of using Black Floridians’ voting rights for his political ambitions. The plaintiffs are expected to appeal the case to the state Supreme Court.