GOP pushes for greater advantage on Florida and Ohio congressional cards

With the midterm election cycle fast approaching, Republicans in swing states Florida and Ohio have made critical progress in their effo...


With the midterm election cycle fast approaching, Republicans in swing states Florida and Ohio have made critical progress in their efforts to cement their dominance on the congressional cards by creating new districts. that would be easier for GOP candidates to win.

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday vetoed maps of Congress drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature and called for a special session to draw new maps in mid-April, a rare rift between the Republican governor and state legislators. Mr. DeSantis had previously pledged to veto the cards and pushed his own cards that would have given his party a stronger advantage in the state’s congressional delegation.

In Ohio, a new map of congressional districts that is gerrymandered to heavily favor Republicans looked very likely to be used in the midterm elections after the state Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that he would not reign on a pay-per-view challenge until after the May 3 primary election.

Republican pressure comes as Democrats have performed better than expected in this year’s redistricting cycle. Democrats have attracted aggressive gerrymanders in states including New York, Oregon, Illinois and Maryland, while Republicans have sought to make their current state seats safer. like texas and Georgia.

The result is an emerging new parliamentary landscape that won’t lean as heavily toward Republicans as it did after the last round of redistricting, in 2011. In the first election after that round of redistricting, in 2012, Democrats won 1.4 million additional votes for the House. representatives, but republicans control maintained of the chamber with 33 more seats than the Democrats.

The realignment of this year’s redistricting angered some Republicans across the country, who had called on GOP-led state legislatures to be more aggressive in crafting the maps.

“Republicans are absolutely skimmed with the phony redistricting taking place across the country,” former President Donald J. Trump said. noted in a statement last month.

Mr. DeSantis appeared to share Mr. Trump’s view, taking the rare step of intervening in the redistricting process and offering his own maps, twice. His most recent proposal would have created 20 seats that would have favored Republicans and only eight that would have favored Democrats, meaning the GOP would likely have held 71% of the seats. Mr. Trump took Florida in 2020 with 51.2% of the vote.

But Republicans in the state Legislature, who often acquiesce to Mr. DeSantis’ demands, largely ignored the governor’s proposed maps and adopted their own maps that most likely would have given Republicans 18 seats, compared to 10 for the Republicans. democrats. Mr. DeSantis said the cards “DO A” on Twitter when they passed.

At a press conference on Tuesday announcing his veto, DeSantis said the map drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature violated U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

“They forgot to make sure what they were doing complied with the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution,” DeSantis said at the State Capitol.

The vetoed map removed a seat held by a black Democrat, Rep. Al Lawson of Tallahassee, and created a smaller district in Jacksonville where a black Democrat could be elected. Mr. DeSantis had proposed maps earlier this year that further eroded minority representation, including in Mr. Lawson’s district.

Mr. DeSantis acknowledged that the card lawmakers who end up drawing in the special session would still be likely to face a legal challenge. The state’s current map was drawn by the courts after Florida voters wrote anti-gerrymandering provisions into the state Constitution in 2010.

On Tuesday, the governor appeared to take aim at those provisions, calling them deep and inconsistent. He hinted that in the future the state could argue in federal court that the provisions were unconstitutional, but he said his intention was not necessarily to repeal them.

“Our goal was just to have a constitutional map,” he said. “We weren’t necessarily trying to map out any type of litigation strategy.”

He added: ‘We would obviously say that it is unconstitutional to draw a district like this where race is the only factor,’ referring to Mr Lawson’s heavily black district in North Florida.

Florida legislative leaders told lawmakers to plan to be in Tallahassee for the April 19-22 special session. Florida has a relatively late primary election, scheduled for Aug. 23, and the vote is unlikely to be threatened by uncertainty in the maps. However, some House races have yet to attract a full slate of candidates, in part because district lines remain blurred.

In Ohio, the Republican-friendly map would give GOP candidates at least 10 of the state’s 15 House seats — and potentially as many as 13 — though fewer than six in 10 votes favored the party in the statewide elections over the past decade.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruling justified what most pundits called a strategy of slowing down Republicans who control the state’s General Assembly and have dominated the map-drawing process in the Commission of redistricting of Ohio, apparently bipartisan. The state Supreme Court rejected an early draft of the Congressional map in January, calling it a Republican gerrymander that violated the Ohio Constitution.

Voting rights advocates immediately challenged the second version of the map after the GOP majority on the Redistricting Commission released it in mid-March.

The Supreme Court of Ohio also rejected three successive maps drawn by Republicans districts for the State House and Senate as gerrymanders, once threatening to scorn the Redistricting Commission for slowing down the mapping process. The court looked likely to do so again after the Redistricting Commission produced a fourth set of legislative maps on Monday night that were nearly identical to the last ones the court struck down.

In passing those maps, Republicans on the commission ignored the recommendations of two outside redistricting experts the state Supreme Court had chosen to help with the process.

“This entire decision was disrespectful to Ohio taxpayers, voters, the Supreme Court, and the Ohio Constitution as a shameless power grab,” said Jen Miller, executive director of the state chapter of the League of Women Voters, one of two groups that contested the cards. “But I don’t think they will have the last word.”

Ms Miller and other experts have said the Supreme Court could reopen contempt proceedings against the commission and order a fifth attempt to draw constitutional legislative maps.

The deadlock over congressional and legislative maps has made a redistricting process a disaster aimed at remove policy from mapping which Ohio voters resoundingly approved via constitutional amendments in 2015 and 2018.

These amendments removed the state legislature’s map-drawing powers and gave them to a new redistricting commission whose current members are weighted toward Republicans. The amendments require the commission to produce maps that reflect the vote share each party has received in statewide elections over the past decade – about 54% for Republicans and 46% for Democrats. .

The state Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the commission violated that mandate.



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Newsrust - US Top News: GOP pushes for greater advantage on Florida and Ohio congressional cards
GOP pushes for greater advantage on Florida and Ohio congressional cards
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