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DeSantis, Florida lawmakers sued by groups over congressional maps

ORLANDO, Fla. — (AP) — Voter rights groups are suing Gov. Ron DeSantis, his secretary of state and lawmakers in a bid to throw out redrawn congressional districts, saying the governor inappropriately influenced the once-a-decade process.

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The lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in Tallahassee by Common Cause Florida and Fair Districts Now, two non-partisan groups advocating good government.

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The complaint states DeSantis overstepped his executive powers to propose his own maps to favor Republicans.

It says his plans violate state and federal laws protecting the redistricting process against partisan gerrymandering.

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DeSantis’ plans would likely eliminate two Black plurality districts.

The lawsuit says his first plan also weakened one Hispanic district, favoring Republican candidates.

Before DeSantis proposed how to redraw the districts, the Florida Senate had passed a new congressional map in January that was “substantially compliant with the law and largely successful in protecting minority voting rights,” the complaint said.

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After DeSantis’ proposals, lawmakers appeared to try to please the governor, by scrapping their maps and redrawing the districts in a new plan.

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