March 29, 2022

DeSantis Calls Special Session After Vetoing “Unlawful” Congressional Districts

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By Eric Daugherty

March 29, 2022 Updated 3:00 P.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FCV) – Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a call for a Special Session of the Florida Legislature to establish a new redistricting map for “lawful congressional voting districts in Florida.”

DeSantis vetoed a map that contained a racially gerrymandered district.

“We have a responsibility to produce maps for our citizens that do not contain unconstitutional racial gerrymanders,” he said.

“Today, I vetoed a map that violates the U.S. Constitution, but that does not absolve the Legislature from doing its job. I appreciate the Legislature’s willingness to work with me to pass a legally compliant map this Special Session.”

The session plans to convene at 12:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 19, and will go no later than 11:59 P.M. on Friday, April 22.

DeSantis said in his veto of the redistricting map – C.S./S.B. 102 – that he did so because Congressional District 5 “violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The district was drawn to favor black representation, despite it not being a black-majority district.

“Although I understand the Legislature’s desire to comply with the Florida Constitution, the Legislature is not absolved of its duty to comply with the U.S. Constitution.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson issued a joint statement with House Speaker Chris Sprowls saying that their maps “were not challenged by a single party,” the first time in nearly 100 years.

“Unlike state legislative maps, the congressional map requires approval by the Governor, and Governor DeSantis has vetoed the legislation we passed earlier this month. Our goal is for Florida to have a new congressional map passed by the Legislature, signed by the Governor, and upheld by the court if challenged,” they went on.

“Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to exhaust every effort in pursuit of a legislative solution. We look forward to working with our colleagues and Governor DeSantis during the upcoming special session on a congressional map that will earn the support of the Legislature and the Governor and fulfill our constitutional obligation for the 2022 redistricting process.”

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