Florida high court refuses DeSantis request on redistricting

Posted 2/10/22

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court told Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday it will not answer his question on whether a Black congressman's district is unconstitutional.

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Florida high court refuses DeSantis request on redistricting

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Bottom row (l-r): Justice Ricky Polston, Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, Justice Jorge Labarga. Top row (l-r): Justice John D. Couriel, Justice Alan Lawson, Justice Carlos G. Muñiz, Justice Jamie R. Grosshans.
Bottom row (l-r): Justice Ricky Polston, Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, Justice Jorge Labarga. Top row (l-r): Justice John D. Couriel, Justice Alan …

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court told Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday it will not answer his question on whether a Black congressman's district is unconstitutional.

DeSantis has interjected himself into the once-a-decade process of drawing new congressional maps, something highly unusual for a governor to do. The House and Senate have considered maps that largely left Democratic U.S. Rep. Al Lawson's district intact, but DeSantis is pushing a map that would make his district lean Republican.

After submitting his map, DeSantis asked the Supreme Court if Lawson's district is unconstitutional. The district runs from Jacksonville to Gadsden County west of Tallahassee, a distance of about 200 miles (about 321 kilometers). DeSantis questioned whether drawing it to contain Black communities so far apart met the state and federal constitutions.

The court said the issue was too complicated to simply grant an advisory opinion.

“The scope of the Governor’s request is broad and contains multiple questions that implicate complex federal and state constitutional matters and precedents interpreting the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” it wrote.

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