TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida’s highest court declined to intervene in a contentious battle over U.S. congressional redistricting in the state.
According to an opinion released by the Florida Supreme Court Thursday, it declined petitioners’ request to intervene in blocking the First District Court of Appeal’s decision to allow Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ influenced Florida congressional map from being used during the 2022 general election.
According to a document posted on the Florida Supreme Court website, justices Ricky Polston, Carlos G. Muñiz, John D. Couriel and Jamie R. Grosshans were in the 4-1 majority opinion.
Justice Jorge Labarga was the dissenting opinion, while chief justice Charles T. Canady and justice Alan Lawson were recused.
The majority opinion noted in its decision “Here Petitioners ask this Court to intervene in the First District Court of Appeal’s ongoing consideration of an appeal of an order imposing a temporary injunction. At this time, this Court does not have jurisdiction over that matter.”
The Florida Legislature initially submitted two maps during its regular session in February.
One map was similar to the DeSantis map, while the other map was similar to a map that preserved the African American majority districts notably in north Florida (Gadsden County, parts of Tallahassee and Leon County to parts of Jacksonville in Duval County) and Orlando areas.
The two districts voted for Democratic candidates during the 2020 election.
The state legislature presented two maps in case the first DeSantis map was ruled invalid in court, the second map would satisfy state law on gerrymandering.
The governor vetoed the Republican-led legislature’s two-map plan.
DeSantis’ final map was voted into law during a special session in April.
DeSantis, a Republican, has argued that his map is “race neutral” but his map was challenged by organizations like Black Voters Matter because they claim the governor’s map goes against state gerrymandering law in regard to preserving a majority Black district.
The qualifying period for U.S. House of Representative candidates for the 2022 election cycle is June 13 at noon to June 17 at noon.