DeSantis wins again, Appeals Court reinstates his congressional map

Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals upheld Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed Congressional maps today after a lower court said the map was unconstitutional.

“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 in its ruling.

The court went on to say that the order would be upheld due to the “need for certainty and continuity as election season approaches”.

The map was initially struck down because it threatened to upend two Congressional Districts that favor black voters and candidates.  Representative Al Lawson, D-Fl. would see his district, which gave Biden 62% of the vote in 2020, changed to a district that gave Trump 54% of the vote.  Lawson currently represents Florida’s 5th Congressional district.

Lawson said that he believed the decision would be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court and reversed.  “While I’m disappointed in today’s decision by the appellate court to reinstate DeSantis’ unconstitutional map, I am confident that the Florida Supreme Court will soon take over this issue and protect the rights of Black voters in North Florida,” He said.

Florida’s Supreme Court is composed of seven justices who have all been appointed by Republican Governors, with three appointed by Governor DeSantis.

Democrats attempted to aggressively gerrymander in blue States such as New York but have seen their efforts frustrated by appeals courts.  Newly drawn Congressional maps would have favored Democrats at the national level but are poised to favor Republicans by 0.8% if Florida’s congressional map stands.

Congressional Democrats and activists previously criticized gerrymandering as anti-democratic but have voiced support for gerrymandering as it was set to benefit them in the 2022 midterm elections.

Republicans are poised to pick up three of Florida’s Congressional seats, according to the Cook Congressional Report.  Republicans will take 19 of Florida’s 27 seats if Florida’s Congressional maps and current polling trends hold through to November.

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