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What's next for Florida redistricting after high court refuses to hear DeSantis' case?

We asked an expert on redistricting what are the options now that the Florida Supreme Court has refused to hear the governor's case.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It's back to work on the redistricting maps to determine how you will vote later this fall. Florida lawmakers had put their efforts on hold to draw the maps as the governor asked for an opinion from the state Supreme Court. 

Late last week, the court told Gov. Ron DeSantis it will not answer his question on whether a Black congressman's district is unconstitutional. The governor has been pushing for a map that would make that district lean republican and says he's not backing down.

“We will not be signing any congressional map that has an unconstitutional gerrymander in it, and that is going to be the position that we stick to,” DeSantis said.

Attorney and redistricting expert Michael Li from the Brennan Center for Justice has been following map changes for the last decade. He says it's unusual for the court to give advisory opinions anyway. He adds the courts have put limits on how much race must be considered when looking at the boundary lines. 

In this situation, Florida law prohibits retrogression, decreasing a minority district.

“Gov. DeSantis has the power to veto a map if he chooses, and if the legislature chooses to overwrite that and make the map law then someone perhaps urged on by Gov. DeSantis could sue to try to invalidate the district, either under federal law or say it's a violation of Florida state law,” Li said.

Lawmakers only have to accomplish two things this legislative session, pass a budget and get those maps drawn.

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