It was recently reported that following weeks of wrangling with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s post-2020 Census redistricting, the GOP-led legislature has decided to effectively allow him to redraw the congressional maps.
Should the decision receive the governor’s blessing and withstand anticipated legal challenges, it will set the stage for a very Republican-friendly congressional map, the Washington Examiner reported.
“At this time, Legislative reapportionment staff is not drafting or producing a map for introduction during the special session,” state Senate President Wilton Simpson and state House Speaker Chris Sprowls said in a joint statement.
“We are awaiting a communication from the Governor’s Office with a map that he will support. Our intention is to provide the Governor’s Office opportunities to present that information before House and Senate redistricting committees,” they added.
The outlet continued:
DeSantis vetoed a map the Legislature sent him late last month after which lawmakers agreed to hold a special session from April 19-22 to draw a new map.
The announcement Monday comes as the state is approaching the June 17 deadline for prospective candidates for federal office without a map. The state’s primary election is slated to take place in August.
When he issued the veto, DeSantis argued the map the Legislature sent him violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by preserving a racially gerrymandered district favorable to Democrats. Many outside observers noted DeSantis had been lobbying the Legislature for months to pass a map with more GOP-friendly lines.
The Legislature’s map would have likely given Republicans an 18-10 advantage, up from the current 16-11 split, per Florida Politics.
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DeSantis, who is a rising star in the GOP and is running for reelection this year with a huge sum of campaign money in the bank, had previously taken a rare step of producing his own map proposals, one of which would have boosted the GOP advantage to 20-8 noted Dave Wasserman, a national elections analyst for the Cook Political Report.
Florida gained a seat due to population growth following the Census.
Already, though, Democrats have vowed to file suit against the final map in court, no matter what it looks like.