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State judge rules election map drawn by DeSantis is unconstitutional

Ron DeSantis
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

TALLAHASSEE- A state judge in Leon County will soon issue a formal ruling stating the election map drawn up by Gov. Ron DeSantis and approved by the state legislature violates the state constitution.

On Thursday, Circuit Judge Layne Smith stated the breakup of a majority-Black congressional district in the Panhandle violates the Fair District amendment of the state constitution.

The DeSantis legal team argued that the map is ‘race neutral’ however Judge Smith sided with the plaintiffs in the case, stating that the breakup of the district that runs between Tallahassee and Jacksonville “diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect the representative of their choice.”

Another district in Central Florida had been predominantly Black before being redrawn was left in place by Judge Smith.

A spokesperson for the governor says he intends to appeal the decision with the state Supreme Court.