TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following the decision from a judge in the Circuit Court of Leon County that plaintiffs were likely to succeed in proving that the configuration of Florida’s Congressional District 5 in the ‘DeSantis map’ diminishes the voting power of Black Floridians, in violation of the Florida Constitution, plaintiffs including the League of Women Voters of Florida in the case Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute v. Lee released the following statements:
“The DeSantis’ enacted congressional map is a threat to the rule of law. Notably, the League of Women Voters of Florida was a lead plaintiff in successfully suing the Florida Legislature over its legislative and congressional boundaries at the conclusion of the 2012 redistricting process. The League finds no solace in returning to court a decade later to once again fight for fair representation. This preliminary injunction from the court is a start to ensuring that the laws of the sunshine state are followed and the voices of voters are fairly represented,” said Cecile Scoon, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida.
“When government overreach tries to suppress Black voters, the courts are our last line of defense to preserve justice and equity. With today’s decision, we see Judge Smith stating what we have been saying from day one, the Governor’s maps diminish the voting power of Black Floridians violating the Florida Constitution. No Floridian – including Governor DeSantis – is above the law. This is one step forward in the fight to protect Black voters, and we will keep doing everything in our power to ensure our voices are heard,” said Jasmine Burney-Clark, Founder and Consulting Director of Equal Ground Education Fund.
“The practice of joining districts to favor one political party over another skews election results and deeply hurts communities of color by restricting access to free and fair elections. For far too long and from every angle, Black voting power has been attacked, and today the court fulfilled their duty to make this right,” said Moné Holder, Senior Director of Advocacy and Programs at Florida Rising.
“Today’s decision from the court is a victory against Governor DeSantis’ attack on equitable and fair representation of Black voters in the state of Florida. Black Floridians deserve to live in a state where they are free to vote in elections and this map with a new fifth congressional district will allow such opportunity,” said Jamil Davis, Black Voters Matter Florida State Organizing Manager.