Democrats in Florida have had a bad run of it since DeSantis got elected. What used to be a 50-50 purple state has, under his wise leadership and immensely popular initiatives, become bright red.
As if that weren’t enough to give what Democrats in Florida that still hold onto Congressional seats heartburn, things might soon get a good bit worse for them: DeSantis is pushing a major redistricting plan that could harness the state’s population growth and use it to give Republicans yet more seats.
You see, the legislature had created and passed, along party lines, a map that was favorable to the GOP. However, because of certain problems with it, DeSantis thought the map might not survive a 14th Amendment challenge and so vetoed it. Describing why, he said:
“In their, I guess understandable, zeal to try to comply with what they believe the Florida constitution was required, they forgot to make sure what they were doing complied with the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
“I think if you did a map along the lines that we had proposed, you will — that will be challenged and there’ll be plaintiffs that will say that that big district in North Florida, the District 5, that that’s diminishment and that must be put in and they’re going to ask courts, most likely state courts up to the Florida Supreme Court, to put that district back in and they will cite that provision of Florida constitution.
“We will obviously say it’s unconstitutional to draw a district like that where race is the only factor and so that will be a decision that probably is enough to resolve the map.“
So, the redistricting has been pushed back to April 19th, at which time the legislature will have to meet and quickly create a new map, one that will pass both state and federal constitutional muster. Politico, describing what could result from that, notes that:
Lawmakers approving a new map during a mid-April special session — just two months before candidates are supposed to qualify for the ballot — could give the GOP additional pick up opportunities as redistricting comes to a close across the nation.
Florida picked up one congressional seat in 2022 due to population growth for a total of 28. Republicans hold a 16 to 11 edge and DeSantis’ initial proposal would give Republicans a bigger advantage, boosting the number of seats Donald Trump would have won in 2020 to 18.
Giving the GOP two more seats could help make the red wave even larger in 2022. Redistricting plans in blue states, such as New York, are handing seats to Democrats, so DeSantis is only taking after their example and using the power of government to put his party in power.
That is, he’s doing so if the map he wants to be passed survives the almost certain legal challenges to it. Assuming the legislature gets it right and it can meet that hurdle, DeSantis could give the GOP a major boost and the Democrats a major case of heartburn.
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This story syndicated with permission from Will, Author at Trending Politics
Featured photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons