Florida Republicans passed a new congressional voting map this week. The changes would eliminate two majority-Black voting districts and essentially give Republicans 20 of the 28 voting districts.
The League of Women Voters of Florida has since filed a lawsuit over the new state maps. The group is joined by other organizations such as Black Voters Matters and Florida Rising, as well as 12 voters living across the state.
The groups filed the lawsuit less than 24 hours after the Legislature passed the bill.
After much debate and a sit-in by Black lawmakers and allies, the Florida Senate voted on Thursday along party lines 68-38 to approve the new congressional map. Before the vote took place, Black lawmakers staged a sit-in on the floor of the Florida House during the debates and sang the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” and chanted “we will not be denied!”
“The League and the other plaintiffs have chosen to not stand by while a rogue governor and a complicit state Legislature make a mockery of Florida’s Constitution and try to silence the votes and voices of hundreds of thousands of Black voters,” said Cecile Scoon, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida.
The National Redistricting Foundation, the group led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, is assisting the lawsuit, and lawyers from the Washington-based Elias Law Group are working on the challenge.
DeSantis has defended the new map saying the current map is drawn unconstitutionally. The new map cuts the number of majority-Black districts in half, from four to two. Governor DeSantis previously vetoed all versions of the new map that did not completely eliminate the 5th district.
The new map will likely give Republicans a large advantage in the November midterms. Republicans only need to flip five House seats to take over the majority in Congress.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: LA TIMES
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