The Florida District Court of Appeal for the First District Friday reinstated a new congressional map proposed by Governor Ron DeSantis’ office. The court’s order overturned a May 12 decision ruling the map unconstitutional under the state’s Sixth Amendment. The appellate court criticized the lower court’s ruling, writing, “[b]ased on a preliminary review, the court has determined there is a high likelihood that the temporary injunction is unlawful….” The court went on to say:
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 pending the court’s disposition of the motion for review of the trial court’s vacatur of the automatic stay, which will be promptly forthcoming.
The original lawsuit was brought by a group of Florida non-profits including Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute, the League of Women Voters of Florida, Equal Ground Education Fund and Florida Rising Together. The groups alleged racial discrimination in the redistricting process. Reacting to Friday’s ruling, plaintiffs stated, “[t]oday’s ruling does nothing to change the fact that the Governor’s proposed map is a blatantly unconstitutional attack on Black representation in Florida.”
The Governor’s office has had unusually heavy involvement in the maps’ journey through the legislative process. Originally, the Florida House of Representatives approved two maps. DeSantis announced his intention to veto the maps, pronouncing them “DOA,” or “dead on arrival.” The Florida Senate approved the maps, and DeSantis vetoed them as promised. DeSantis then proposed his own maps, which were approved by the legislature.