US

Ron DeSantis single-handedly destroys Democrat Gerrymandering’s gains

Governor Ron DeSantis (R) single-handedly shattered the national advantage of Democrats’ gerrymandering on Wednesday by proposing a card that eliminates constitutional infirmities.

Subject to legislative approval and likely legal challenges, the map will undo all the hard work the Democratic redistricting machine has created over the past few months.

The map proposed by DeSantis will give 20 red and 8 blue districts.

Last month, Republican establishment House Speaker Chris Sprows (R) and Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson (R) resisted DeSantis’ original map that would have generated 20 red and 8 blue districts. Instead, lawmakers passed and submitted an inferior map to DeSantis, which only created 18 red and 10 blue districts. Previous maps designed by Sprows and Simpson were even worse.

In turn, DeSantis vetoed the Democratic-aligned map and announced a special session in April to consider the establishment map. With the special session taking place next week, establishment Republicans have asked DeSantis to submit a map to the legislature for reconsideration.

DeSantis’ new card is similar to his original a. The latest version would be eliminate a Democratic neighborhood near Jacksonville by dividing it in two. It would also create a more favorable neighborhood near Tampa Bay and Pinellas County, an area turning red, neighborhoods that Sprows and Simpson apparently opposed.

In a letter to lawmakers, DeSantis General Counsel Ryan Newman said the proposed map “is the product of collaboration and consultation with House and Senate leaders and is inspired by the maps recently adopted by the Legislative Assembly”.

With Sprows and Simpson in line, the map is expected to be approved by the legislature, reshaping Florida’s political future for the next ten years. Redistricting expert and Cook Political Report editor David Wasserman tweeted the map would totally destroy the gerrymandering actions of Democrats nationwide since the 2020 census.

“If this 20R-8D FL map succeeds and withstands legal challenges, it could net Republicans four more seats, entirely wiping out the Dems’ national redistricting gains so far,” Wasserman said.

Not everyone is impressed with the card. Marc Elias, a leading Democratic election advocate, who played a key role in promoting mail-in voting across the country in the 2020 election and supports Democrats’ efforts to gerrymand maps of congressional districts, tweeted the map will face legal challenges, likely because it deconstructs districts designed by Democrats and shaped by race.

Democrats have had great success in court. Former President Barack Obama’s former attorney general, Eric Holder, successfully thwarted Republican state lawmakers’ redistricting methods by aggressively gerrymandering House districts through the court system.

Holder’s success is the result of his “sue” strategy, which he implemented after Obama’s destruction in the 2010 redistricting round, the the wall street journal reported. Developing the plan under the National Democratic Redistricting Committee he created, Holder was instrumental in reducing the aggressiveness of Republican legislatures. Sprows and Simpson probably felt the heat.

But DeSantis and his administration are fighting back. Attorney General Newman defended the map, arguing that race should not override the equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment.

“Through these adjustments, the proposed new plan of distribution eliminates the federal constitutional infirmities identified by the Governor and improves several card measures passed by the Legislative Assembly,” Newman wrote.

Earlier this week, DeSantis also defended his card, citing Cooper v. Harris. The 2017 case was decided by a 5-3 majority in the Supreme Court, which found the North Carolina General Assembly engaged in ‘unconstitutional racial gerrymanders’ by relying too heavily on race when it attracted two districts after the 2010 census.

DeSantis’ map enjoys broad support among conservative Republicans in Florida. Former state senator and current Lake County real estate appraiser Carey Baker told Breitbart News that DeSantis’ map is “absolutely” the “cleanest, least gerrymandered map that has ever been offered for the State of Florida”.

“We know it will be challenged in court by the left, but any impartial tribunal should easily conclude that this map complies with all state and federal redistricting requirements,” Baker told Breitbart News. “Governor DeSantis is fortunate to have a state Supreme Court that is not an activist court, so if this card is considered solely on its merits, it should overcome any challenges.”

Rory Diamond, a conservative Jacksonville City Council member, told Breitbart News that the card is an act of “political courage” by DeSantis. Diamond’s town of Jacksonville will be positively impacted by the proposed map.

“Governor DeSantis’ map is constitutional and an act of political courage, combating a half-century of gerrymandering,” he told Breitbart News. “Now we need real Conservatives to fill these new seats.”

The state legislature is set to pass DeSantis’ second card into law next week in its special session.

Follow Wendell Husebo on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebo

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