TALLAHASSE — Common Cause Florida went to court in the trial over Gov. Ron DeSantis’ congressional voting map on Tuesday Sept. 26 at 8:30 a.m. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee. The trial is scheduled to last up to two weeks.
Common Cause Florida and co-plaintiffs challenge the maps are an intentional racial gerrymander, blatantly discriminating against black Floridians by taking away their right to fair and equal representation. The case, Common Cause Florida et al v. Byrd, is being brought by Common Cause Florida, Fair Districts Now, the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, and individual voters from across the Sunshine state.
Common Cause Florida and co-plaintiffs are represented by Patterson Belknap LLP, led by Gregory Diskant and H. Gregory Baker, and by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, led by Jeff Loperfido. Baker will present the plaintiffs’ opening arguments before the three-judge panel, outlining how the 2022 federal congressional map—passed by the Florida Legislature at the insistence of Governor Ron DeSantis — unlawfully discriminates against Black Floridians.
Governor DeSantis’ congressional voting maps mark the first time in 30 years a Black opportunity district was eliminated, robbing Black voters in North Florida of the opportunity to select a candidate of their choice. Weakening Floridians’ voting power on the basis of their race is a violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The following are expected to take the stand and testify in the trial:
• Alex Kelly, Gov. DeSantis Acting Chief of Staff who drew the discriminatory voting map
• Fentrice Driskell, Minority Leader, Florida House of Representatives
• Amy Keith, Common Cause Florida Program Director
• Individual voters disenfranchised by the discriminatory voting maps
Florida Redistricting Trial Challenging Congressional Maps will take place at the Joseph Woodrow Hatchett United States Courthouse and Federal Building, 111 N. Adams St., Tallahassee, Florida 32301, Courtroom 5 East
For more information, follow Common Cause Florida on Facebook and Twitter.
To learn more about the case, visit https://www.commoncause.org/florida/common-cause-florida-et-al-v-lee/
Common Cause Florida is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working for open, honest, and accountable government.