Think No President Could Ever Be As Bad As Trump? DeSantis: "Hold My Beer"
The Democrat-controlled New York legislature did some extreme gerrymandering to make it harder for Republicans to win several seats. So courts threw it out and threw out their appeals and told them to postpone the primaries from June to August and to stop screwing around. Meanwhile, Rick DeSantis' congressional map of Florida was so much worse than New York's that even the Republican-controlled legislature rejected it-- for a few moments... and then passed it when DeSantis explained how line item vetos can work in appropriations bills.
And then-- lo and behold-- a DeSantis-appointed judge, Layne Smith, who served in the DeSantis administration before being appointed to the bench, tossed out DeSantis' overtly racist map as unconstitutional and ordered Florida to use the old map in the northern part of the state that DeSantis messed up to defeat a Black conservative Democrat, Al Lawson.
Andrew Pantazi reported yesterday that "The ruling came after a Wednesday hearing that saw plaintiffs argue that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ congressional map, which eliminated Jacksonville’s current Black ability-to-elect district, violated the state constitution."
The governor’s office said it will appeal the ruling. It would first go the 1st District Court of Appeal, and then if appealed again, it would go to the Florida Supreme Court. The 1st District could also choose to send it straight to the state’s highest court.
Once appealed, the ruling will be automatically stayed, meaning it won’t be in effect during the appeal, but Smith, a DeSantis appointee, urged elections officials to do what’s necessary to get ready for the August primaries.
Smith could lift that stay, ensuring his order goes into effect while the appeals are ongoing. If he does so, the appellate courts could issue a new stay order, which would again pause the order from going into effect.
The Legislature had initially passed a map that drew a Black ability-to-elect district wholly in Duval County, but DeSantis vetoed that map.
Even though the Legislature’s leadership and staff said the new districts in DeSantis’ proposal would not allow Black voters to have the ability to elect their preferred candidates, Republicans passed the map over Democrats’ protest.
The Florida Legislature’s redistricting maps in the 1990s and 2010s were similarly struck down, but in those cases, it took six years to get a final ruling.
This time, the plaintiffs sought to focus on getting a preliminary injunction redrawing North Florida’s districts before the 2022 elections. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs are still seeking a full trial to get the whole map thrown out.
Even though Florida is a 50/50 swing state, DeSantis' map created 18 red districts and 8 blue districts with two competitive seats in Miami-Dade. DeSantis' map is considered the most aggressive-- and unconstitutional-- gerrymander in the country.