Civil rights groups say Midterms prove unfairness of Florida’s congressional map

FLORDIA REDISTRICTING (8)
Republicans picked up four House seats in Florida alone as the balance of power in the House remains uncertain.

Civil rights advocates have argued Florida’s redistricting map is a partisan mess, and now they’re arguing the Midterm Election results prove it.

The plaintiff groups suing Florida in circuit court over the redistricting process say the proof of unfairness is in the ballot box. A joint statement from Equal Ground, Florida Rising, League of Women Voters Florida, and Black Voters Matter makes that sentiment clear.

“Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections were held under a congressional map that was already found to be blatantly unconstitutional by a state court judge, under Florida’s Fair District Amendments,” the statement reads.

“As control of the United States House hangs in the balance, we are once again reminded of the importance of free and fair elections. Our coalition rejects gerrymandering that disenfranchises and discriminates against voters on the basis of race or their party and will continue to advocate for congressional maps that adhere to the Florida Constitution and do not favor one political party over the other, as the DeSantis map used this election cycle does.”

Florida Republicans enjoyed far greater success than the party as a whole in the Midterms. While the GOP will likely gain a House majority in Congress, it will not be large, according to all projections. But in Florida, Republicans picked up four House seats.

Of note, the groups have made the deconstruction of a North Florida minority-performing district a central part of legal challenges. Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a map produced by the Legislature which kept intact a district represented by U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Black Democrat.

DeSantis then had his staff draw a map that broke the district apart, and that cartography was later passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Lawson’s district spanned a number of Black communities from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, and Black voters controlled the Democratic Primary in the blue district. But all portions of the district in DeSantis’ map ended up in majority-White, Republican-leaning seats.

Lawson ended up seeking re-election in Florida’s 2nd Congressional District, but he lost on Nov. 8 to Republican U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn.

Notably, the Florida Supreme Court threw out a map produced by the Legislature during the redistricting process a decade ago in 2012. A majority of justices ruled in 2015 that map violated the Fair Districts Amendment to Florida’s Constitution that forbids lawmakers from redistricting to benefit a political party or from diminishing the ability of minority communities to elect a candidate of their choice.

That precedent should matter in the current case working its way through state courts.

“With all five Supreme Court Justices who were on the ballot retained, we move forward with a mandate to ensure that if the pending redistricting litigation goes before Florida’s highest court, they will respect precedent that upheld and enforced the Fair District Amendments that voters enshrined in our State Constitution,” the joint statement from plaintiff groups states.

Federal courts this week advanced a separate lawsuit challenging the maps for violating federal law.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


10 comments

  • Tom

    November 10, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    Rick Scott is a grifter, Moody an election denier, and Ron DeSanctimonious is a right wing mad man. Florida has been a right wing police state for a decade. God and baby Jesus save us from these people.

    • eva

      November 12, 2022 at 3:00 pm

      Quick replay and persistent on-line interest helped me routinely produce more than $26,320 in additional domestic revenue. My actual earnings with my highest domestic sales were $18,636. Certainly, everyone can now.

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  • Yrral

    November 11, 2022 at 3:15 am

    Why are they suing in a state kangaroo Court, Federal judges have nullified elections and made them redraw the district Google Federal Judge Nullify North Carolina Congressional District

  • nail

    November 11, 2022 at 9:02 am

    I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen
    apart. I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the
    Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election
    process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten
    thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I
    sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft
    immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the
    votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being STOLEN….Donal Trump

  • nail

    November 11, 2022 at 9:27 am

    In 2018, Rick Scott defeated Bill Nelson by 10,033 votes & DeSantis defeated Andrew Gillum by 32,463 votes. Trump said tonight that he sent in the FBI and US Attorneys to ensure their victory. This seems like a case that Florida’s election police should immediately investigate.

    Why was Rudy helping Ron at the end?

    “From where I sit, it is a virtual certainty,” said Marc Elias, Mr. Nelson’s elections lawyer and a veteran of prominent recounts around the country. “I think that it is fair to say right now that the results of the 2018 Senate election are unknown.”

    Mr. Elias went even further, predicting that outstanding ballots would ultimately put Mr. Nelson over the top

  • It's Complicated

    November 11, 2022 at 10:28 am

    They DON’T actually oppose gerrymandering, because it REQUIRES gerrymandering to carve out minority-majority districts. Corrine Brown’s and Al Lawson’s old districts were classic gerrymandering, and clearly violated the Florida Constitution. The Florida Constitution FAIR Districts Amendment, which was passed with the support of Democratic Party shill groups, actually forbids gerrymandering (an element that reporters seem to ignore when citing the amendment). Now these Democratic Party shill groups are going to see if the courts will undermine their own amendment to allow gerrymandering of minority-majority districts only.

  • Charlie Crist

    November 11, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Election was rigged and stolen from me using far right propaganda and misinformation.

    • Space Baby

      November 14, 2022 at 7:14 pm

      Conspiracy theory….

      Wear your tinfoil hat or I will abduct you and introduce you to the Probulator.

  • Don Le'mone

    November 12, 2022 at 8:31 am

    Everybody feels like a jilted bride standing alone at the alter in front of all her family and friends when they loose at anything.
    But if you are an adult you get over it.
    Grow up whiney diaper babies and accept the consiquences of your uber leftist actions.
    You lost maybe next time you wont suck so much.
    There there now whiney diaper babies. Feeling better now?
    You are welcome.

  • PeterH

    November 12, 2022 at 10:01 pm

    It’s clear that the ONLY WAY Republicans will win the House is because of gerrymandering! Florida significantly contributed to the steal.

Comments are closed.


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