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Florida Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction in Congressional Map Challenge

Updated: May 16

For Immediate Release

May 11, 2022

Contact

Jena Doyle

doyle@redistrictingfoundation.org


Florida Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction in Congressional Map Challenge


Washington, D.C. – Following the decision from a judge in the Circuit Court of Leon County that plaintiffs were likely to succeed in proving that the configuration of Congressional District 5 in the ‘DeSantis map’ diminishes the voting power of Black Floridians, in violation of the Florida Constitution, the National Redistricting Foundation (NRF), and NRF supported organizational plaintiffs in the case Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute v. Lee released the following statements:


“Today’s swift ruling striking down the DeSantis Map clarifies beyond doubt that the Governor was not trying to follow the law by insisting the legislature pass his map configuration – he was actively trying to break it. The DeSantis Map diminishes Black voting power in Florida in clear violation of the state constitution, and it is now up to the members of the Florida Supreme Court to uphold the law as it is written,” said Eric Holder, 82nd Attorney General of the United States. “This decision is a step toward granting Black Floridians the opportunity to fairly elect representatives of their choosing to Congress. It is vital that the voices of all voters be heard and for that to be possible Florida needs a new, fair congressional map.”


“When government overreach tries to suppress Black voters, the courts are our last line of defense to preserve justice and equity. With today’s decision, we see Judge Smith stating what we have been saying from day one, the Governor’s maps diminish the voting power of Black Floridians violating the Florida Constitution. No Floridian – including Governor DeSantis – is above the law. This is one step forward in the fight to protect Black voters, and we will keep doing everything in our power to ensure our voices are heard,” said Jasmine Burney-Clark, Founder and Consulting Director of Equal Ground Education Fund.


“The practice of joining districts to favor one political party over another skews election results and deeply hurts communities of color by restricting access to free and fair elections. For far too long and from every angle, Black voting power has been attacked, and today the court fulfilled their duty to make this right,” said Moné Holder, Senior Director of Advocacy and Programs at Florida Rising.


“Today’s decision from the court is a victory against Governor DeSantis’ attack on equitable and fair representation of Black voters in the state of Florida. Black Floridians deserve to live in a state where they are free to vote in elections and this map with a new fifth congressional district will allow such opportunity,” said Jamil Davis, Black Voters Matter Florida State Organizing Manager.


“The DeSantis’enacted congressional map is a threat to the rule of law. Our organization finds no solace in returning to court a decade later to fight again for fair districts that the voters in Florida have demanded. This decision from the court is a start to ensuring that the laws of the sunshine state are followed and the voices of voters are fairly represented,” said Cecile M. Scoon, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida.



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