On Thursday, state Judge J. Lee Marsh, a Rick Scott appointee, “signaled skepticism” that the congressional maps that DeSantis shoved up the legislature’s ass last year are constitutional and indicted he may have to toss them. Tampa Bay Times reporter Andrew Pantazi wrote that “Lawyers for the governor and the GOP-controlled Legislature conceded that their congressional map reduced Black voting power, but they argued that the alternative— a Jacksonville-to-Gadsden County district that protects Black voters’ electoral influence— would violate the U.S. Constitution.” That isn’t true.
I spoke with former Orlando Congressman Alan Grayson, who is working to unseat Rick Scott in the U.S. Senate, and he scoffed at the DeSantis argument. “It has simply been another way for DeSantis to assert dictatorial powers. The Jacksonville-centered African-American Congressional seat was established 30 years ago. DeSantis thought that he could steal it for the GOP, and he did.”
Marsh gave attorneys until next Wednesday to submit legal arguments to show why the map doesn’t violate the Fair Districts amendment to the constitution that passed in 2010 over strenuous opposition by Rick Scott, then governor, and the Republican Party.
Florida political observers agree that DeSantis’ map is the most racist gerrymander Florida has seen in decades. FloridaPolitics.com reported that “Marsh recoiled at the argument that Florida could not comply with the non-diminishment standards without violating the U.S. Constitution. He noted the Florida Supreme Court had ruled nearly a decade ago that the state must comply with the Fair Districts amendment, and no one argued then that doing so would violate the U.S. Constitution. He also voiced frustration that so much of the state’s defense of the existing map involved questioning the validity of one in place for half a decade. ‘You’re saying the Florida Supreme Court violated the U.S. Constitution in doing what it did,’ he said. ‘I’m not going there. I don’t think I have the power to say the Florida Supreme Court got it wrong. That’s their business.’”
Back at the Tampa Bay Times, Pantazi reported that “Marsh suggested he could just strike down DeSantis’ map and leave it up to the Legislature to decide how it will draw a new map that complies with both the Florida and U.S. constitutions,” clearly indicating that the villain in this whole racist mess is none other than Ron Jim Crow DeSantis, the most racist governor anywhere in America since George Wallace.