A judge ruled against the electoral map promoted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, calling it unconstitutional for limiting the choices of African-American voters.

In a significant legal development, a judge invalidated a new Florida electoral map supported by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis; the judge ruled that the map violated the state Constitution by limiting choices for African-American voters and barred its use in the upcoming election.

State Magistrate J. Lee Marsh, who presides over Leon County, has ordered Florida lawmakers to create a new election map that aligns with the state Constitution.

The map enacted last year was found to reduce opportunities for African-American voters to select their preferred candidates, The New York Times reported.

The lawsuit, initiated by voting rights groups, revolves around the former fifth congressional district in the northern part of Florida. This district, which stretches from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, had 46% African-American voters and consistently elected Democratic Congressman Al Lawson in the 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections.

Under the recently approved map, this district was split into four smaller districts, altering the proportion of African-American voters. In the 2022 election, each of these districts elected white Republican representatives, resulting in Lawson’s defeat.

Governor Ron DeSantis played an important role in shaping the new electoral map. In March of the previous year, he vetoed the configuration approved by the state House and Senate, which had retained Lawson’s district. He subsequently called a special legislative session, during which his own map was adopted.

Following the judge’s ruling issued Saturday, this case is expected to eventually reach the state Supreme Court. It is worth noting that this court is currently dominated by judges appointed by Governor DeSantis himself, adding an additional layer of complexity to this legal battle.

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