WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Florida Legislature approved a congressional plan, advancing two map options that are expected to be vetoed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). “I will veto the congressional reapportionment plan currently being debated by the House. DOA,” DeSantis tweeted just hours ahead of the final vote. The plan did not pass the Legislature by a veto-proof majority, so the impasse may push map-drawing responsibility to the courts.
The focal difference in the two-map plan is how the maps treat the predominantly-Black 5th Congressional District in northern Florida. Early last month, DeSantis sought an advisory opinion from the state Supreme Court over the legality of the 5th District, but the court declined to issue one. The “primary map” significantly dismantles this district, currently represented by Rep. Al Lawson (D), reducing the Black voter population from 45% to 34%. The “secondary map” largely maintains the 5th Congressional District in its current form.
The congressional plan’s passage comes on the heels of the Florida Supreme Court approving new legislative maps, court review that is required by the Florida Constitution. No groups challenged the new legislative districts after they were passed by the Legislature in February and on Thursday, the court found that the districts met the state’s redistricting standards.