Florida legislature to let Gov. DeSantis draw U.S. House maps

The Republican legislative leaders in Florida say they are going to stop trying to redraw the new map for the state’s congressional districts and instead give consideration to one presented by Gov. Ron DeSantis as part of a special session next week.

Some have criticized DeSantis’ map as one that would be more advantageous to Republicans.

The announcement was made on Monday by state Senate President Wilton Simpson as well as House Speaker Chris Sprowls, which marked two weeks after DeSantis vetoed a map that had already been approved by the state legislature.

“At this time, Legislative reapportionment staff is not drafting or producing a map for introduction during the special session,” the lawmakers noted in their letter. “We are awaiting a communication from the Governor’s Office with a map that he will support.” 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of the state, though, condemned the decision by the legislature to pass over the responsibilities of redistricting to the governor, saying it was an “unprecedented” as well as “undemocratic” choice.

“People should pick their politicians, not the other way around,” the group wrote in a statement. At present, Florida is one of just three states that has more than one congressional district that has not yet finalized its map for the upcoming elections. 

Several state legislatures have been forced to redraw their district lines over new census data, but many of the fights over new maps have ended up in state court battles. This is because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that challenges over partisan gerrymandering could not be heard by federal judges.

The special session for Florida is set to take place next Tuesday and will conclude before Friday. 




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