ORLANDO, Fla. – Democrats in Florida will likely file a legal challenge to the new Congressional district map approved by the majority-Republican Florida Legislature Thursday.
Democratic state representives sat on the floor of the Florida House in Tallahassee to protest the map as it was passed.
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“What we see today is an overreach, and it’s something we see as unacceptable,” Democratic Rep. Kamia Brown, who chairs the Legislative Black Caucus, told reporters after the session adjourned. “Today was one thing we could not just take and stand. … We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
The Florida Legislature originally approved a map more acceptable to Democrats that kept minority district’s largely intact. But Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed that map in favor of his own.
The map calls for the creation of several Republican majority districts and eliminates several Democratic majority districts.
“What we can expect is that people who are opposed to this law, likely Democrats are going to file some sort of challenge and make an argument that this law has racist components or disproportionally affects Black people and people of color,” said News 6 Legal Analyst Steve Kramer. “There may be an effort to test the courts and maybe to try to get a case in front of the Supreme Court under the argument to finally put some of these issues to rest.”
Kramer said democrats will likely argue the map violates the 15th amendment, which was added following the Civil War, prohibiting the denial of someone’s right to vote based on race.
“Anybody can make any allegation they want, but when it comes down to the courtroom, the only thing that matters are the facts that can be proven,” Kramer said.
Kramer also said if a challenge is filed, a court would likely take up the issue soon, given the urgency or the upcoming election year.