The Florida Supreme Court declined to block the state's congressional redistricting plan Thursday, which had been implemented by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
With the high court's ruling, the new redistricting map for Florida will remain intact for the November midterm elections.
In early May, a circuit court initially struck down parts of Florida's redistricting plan, ruling that "it diminishes African-Americans' ability to elect the representatives of their choice."
However, a Florida appeals court reinstated the redistricting proposal shortly after that.
According to Axios, the Florida appellate decision didn't consider the constitutionality of the redistricting plan. It merely determined the lower court wasn't in position to block it.
If anything, that decision "frustrated the status quo, rather than preserved it," wrote Axios.
Advocacy groups, such as Black Voters Matter, the Equal Ground Education Fund, the League of Women Voters of Florida, and Florida Rising Together, took the lead in filing the original lawsuit.
But with the state Supreme Court ruling in favor of the redistricting plan, which was reportedly drawn by DeSantis and subsequently adopted by the Florida Legislature, the opposing parties' next move might involve the 2024 election season.
Back in April, Gov. DeSantis — who's up for reelection this November — acknowledged the redistricting plan could initially be a significant change for residents in the northern portion of Florida.
"I think that what they'll produce will be something that will be acceptable to folks and obviously we'd get my signature for proposing it," said DeSantis. "It will, though, have North Florida drawn in a race-neutral manner."
At the same time, DeSantis reasoned the current makeup of Congressional District 5 — which stretches across North Florida from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, and covers a region that was home to slave plantations during the 1800s — "divvies up people based on the color of their skin."
DeSantis added: "That is wrong. That is not the way we've governed in the state of Florida ... there has never been a district of that length and that shape that has been justifiable."
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