Orlando Sentinel: Fight teed up in federal court over controversial Florida congressional redistricting map
White Republicans won all North Florida congressional districts in the November elections after the map was redrawn. Attorneys for plaintiffs such as the NAACP and Common Cause Florida argue in the federal lawsuit that the overhaul to Congressional District 5 involved "intentional discrimination" and violated the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment and 15th Amendment. The 14th Amendment ensures equal protection, while the 15th Amendment prohibits denying or abridging the right to vote based on race.
The Legislature passed the plan after DeSantis vetoed a proposal that could have led to electing a Black candidate in District 5, the attorneys wrote in a pre-trial brief filed Tuesday.
"Gov. DeSantis was viscerally opposed to any district in North Florida in which Black voters could elect a representative of their choice - no matter how such a district was configured," the brief said. "He vetoed the Legislature's plan, and pushed through his own, not in spite of his plan's adverse impact on Black voting power, but precisely because of it. That is unconstitutional."
"The evidence will show Governor DeSantis went into the 2022 congressional redistricting with one overriding goal: eliminating (the previous configuration of) Florida's Fifth Congressional District, a district where Black voters could elect their candidate of choice," said the brief filed Tuesday by the plaintiffs' attorneys.