Florida GOP Redistricting Plan About As Florida As You'd Expect From A Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday presented the Florida Legislature with a redistricting proposal that will build in a greater advantage for Republicans than the state already has and eliminate at least two districts currently held by Black Democrats. The maps will almost certainly pass easily in the Republican-dominated legislature, after which everybody and their uncle will sue the state over the blatant gerrymandering and elimination of minority representation.

Why, yes, this is precisely the democracy-eroding shit that the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would prevent, if only Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema weren't more concerned about Noble Traditions of the Senate than about having a functional Republic.

The Tampa Bay Times summarizes the electoral butcher's bill:

The map would create 20 Republican-performing districts and eight Democrat-leaning districts and is expected to be quickly approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature next week when it meets in a special session called by the governor. The current split of the Florida congressional delegation is 16 Republicans and 11 Democrats, and the state gets an additional district because of its population growth.

And remember, the minute the special session approves the new maps, the lawsuits will be filed to challenge them in both state and federal court. The Florida constitution has a provision that's supposed to prohibit gerrymandering, and the federal Voting Rights Act bars district maps that harm minority representation, although the current US Supreme Court tends to think of the Voting Rights Act as a quaint relic of long ago more than an actual federal law these days.

Read More: Ron DeSantis Delivers MLK Day Gift Of Racially Gerrymandered Congressional Map

Florida Republicans Let Ron DeSantis Have His Jim Crow Congressional Maps

This is actually DeSantis's third try at forcing through a redistricting map, despite the tiny detail that the maps are supposed to be drawn by the Lege in accordance with that quaint old "separation of powers" thing, and in Florida's case, voters in 2010 passed a constitutional provision requiring fair redistricting, as if DeSantis would give a rat's ass about that. So in January, DeSantis submitted his own maps, which the Lege went and rejected out of concern that they violated that "Fair Districts" part of the state constitution. The amendment is pretty clear in prohibiting new maps that give incumbents a boost, that unfairly give one party an advantage, or that water down the votes of minority groups.

Or as translated into Republican, the majority party has to keep a straight face while insisting its maps are perfectly fair.

The Lege — again, with GOP majorities in both houses — then drafted new maps that preserved a Black-majority district in Jacksonville, but in March, DeSantis vetoed his own party's map under the creative theory that it was an unconstitutional "racial gerrymander" that was totally unfair by allowing Black people to have an advantage in even a single district. Mind you, the Fair Districts amendment literally requires that minority voters have the chance to “elect representatives of their choice,” but we suppose DeSantis thinks that's only allowed when said minorities manage to overcome the electoral hurdles of being divided into white-majority districts, so they'll appreciate all the hard work it requires.

Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Times reports, this time around it looks like the Lege will knuckle under to DeSantis, because "fairness" is such an old-fashioned idea:

The new map was drawn after the governor’s staff consulted with the Senate’s redistricting staff and “reflects standards the Senate can support,” said Senate Reapportionment Committee chairperson Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, in a memo to senators. Rodrigues added that he will submit the map as a bill to be considered by the Senate.

Through some weird circumstance, Florida still has some Democrats — an actual majority of registered voters, as if that mattered — and they seem to think that everyone should be allowed to vote, even people who aren't white Republicans, if you can imagine such hubris. State Democratic Party chair Manny Diaz seemed to think that allowing Black majorities in two whole districts, out of 28, isn't generous enough of the benevolent DeSantis.

Diaz promised a lawsuit if the map is adopted, as did Democratic elections lawyer Marc Elias, so this is far from the last word, at least until the case reaches the Supreme Court, which will surely rule (a week before the election?) that letting the state's Democratic majority have eight seats out of 28 is outrageously partisan. The Supremes will no doubt demand that be reduced to five or fewer, since DeSantis wasn't really trying.

[Tampa Bay Times]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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