florida redistricting maps
The court-ordered map (left) will not go into effect. Instead, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ redistricting map will remain in effect for the 2022 elections.

The Florida Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in a lawsuit challenging the state’s redistricting maps, ensuring Gov. Ron DeSantis’ congressional maps will go into effect for at least 2022’s elections.

While the court’s decision settles things for this year, the redistricting map still faces upcoming federal and state trials challenging its validity

The map, passed by the Legislature and signed by DeSantis, dismantles a Jacksonville-to-Tallahassee district that allowed Black voters to elect candidates of their choice.

Jacksonville’s Black voters have had a district drawn to protect their ability to elect their preferred candidates since 1992. This will be the first election in 30 years without those protections.

The Legislature’s Republican leadership initially stood firm in its decision to preserve a North Florida district that would allow Black voters to elect their preferred candidates, something the Florida Constitution requires.

Then Gov. DeSantis vetoed the map and said he wouldn’t sign any that continued to protect Black voters.

The Legislature adopted DeSantis’ proposal over the protests of Democratic legislators.

A trial judge in Tallahassee found that DeSantis’ map violated the state constitution by diminishing Black citizens’ voting power, and he ordered the state to implement a map that would’ve largely preserved the Jacksonville-to-Tallahassee district.

But his decision was halted by the 1st District Court of Appeal, which ruled unanimously that the court order was unlawful because it mandated a new map. The appellate court didn’t indicate whether DeSantis’ map or the court-ordered one violated the state constitution.

The deadline to qualify for office is June 17, and then the primary election takes place Aug. 23. Ballots must be sent to overseas military voters by July 9.

The deadline to qualify for office is June 17, and then the primary election takes place Aug. 23. Ballots must be sent to overseas military voters by July 9.

Andrew Pantazi is the founding editor of The Tributary. He previously worked as a reporter at The Florida Times-Union where he helped organize the newsroom's union with the NewsGuild-CWA. He and his wife,...