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DeSantis vetoes congressional redistricting; special session called

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference with Attorney General Ashley Moody. Image: The Florida Channel

Gov.Ron DeSantis on Tuesday vetoed the congressional redistricting map drawn by the Florida Legislature.

A special session is set for April the 19th through 22nd to draw a new map.

DeSantis had promised to veto the congressional map, which retained a majority Black district in North Florida.

The Florida Constitution says districts cannot be drawn to favor a party or deny minorities equal opportunity to elect representatives. Critics say DeSantis is trying to do both.

Lawsuits have already been filed challenging congressional redistricting in Florida and asking judges to intervene.

DeSantis argues that, in preserving Black representation, lawmakers violated the U.S. Constitution.

“In their, I guess, understandable zeal to try to, to try to comply with what they believe the Florida Constitution required,” DeSantis said at a press conference, “they forgot to make sure what they were doing complied with the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

U.S Rep. Al Lawson Jr., whose 5th Congressional District would be eliminated, says it’s “absurd” for the governor to cite a post-Civil War amendment aimed at remedying racial disparities in an effort to CREATE them.

DeSantis says lawmakers could also include other issues, like the property insurance crisis, as part of the special session.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.