May 23, 2022 Updated 9:28 A.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – The congressional map Gov. Ron DeSantis signed is set to give Republicans nearly one-third of the seats needed to take back the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
Republicans need 14 seats to retake the U.S. House and Florida’s new congressional map is expected to give Republicans four more seats. There are currently six vacant seats in the U.S. House.
The map would bring the balance representing Florida in the House to 20 Republicans and 8 Democrats.
Florida lawmakers approved the congressional map during a special session in April. DeSantis had vetoed the original map lawmakers passed earlier this year.
The new map eliminates two districts, District 5 and District 10, that are drawn in favor of a minority black population to elect a Democrat in their respective districts. Republicans said the new map is constitutional and avoids racial gerrymandering.
The new map straightens out District 5 in the Florida Panhandle. The previous map for District 5 allowed the district to stretch an awkward several hundred miles across the panhandle done in an effort to favor the minority black vote to the exclusion of other races.
Democrats filed a lawsuit claiming the new map disenfranchises black voters and violates the Fair Districts amendment Florida voters passed in 2010.
In a big win for Republicans, a federal appeals court Friday reinstated DeSantis’ congressional map after a lower court had previously granted a temporary injunction earlier this month.
DeSantis’ map is back in effect but is still expected to face more legal challenges. The Governor’s office wants the court to make a final decision quickly to “avoid uncertainty and confusion” leading up to the upcoming 2022 primary.
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