A judge has now tossed out Ron DeSantis’ gerrymandered Florida congressional map, ruling that it unfairly discriminates against Black voters. We don’t know for certain how this will ultimately play out. DeSantis and the Republicans will appeal. But the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled this year that while gerrymandering in general is okay, racial gerrymandering is not.
So there’s a strong chance that Florida will be forced to draw a more fair congressional map, which will create some opportunities for the Democrats to pick up a handful of specific House seats in Florida. Remember, majority control of the House always comes down to winning or losing a handful of competitive seats around the nation.
In any case, so much for the doomsday narratives we heard earlier this year about how DeSantis’ congressional map was a magic wand move that meant he’d automatically won. In reality, every time Republicans try to make this kind of corrupt move, it sets off a resulting battle. And very often, we end up winning that battle.
Of course we’ll now hear from people on TV and Twitter who will suggest that DeSantis can just magically decline to redraw the maps. But that’s not within a million miles of how this works. You can spar with a state supreme court over congressional maps and draw it out. But you can’t magically ignore it when the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on your maps – and as I said, the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled this year that racial gerrymandering is going to be cracked down on. So no, DeSantis is not going to magic wand his way out of complying with this ruling. Even if DeSantis were savvy, which he’s not, things don’t work that way.
This is why we never say “oh no they’re going to get away with it all.” That kind of surrender talk from us just emboldens them to be more aggressive with their antics. If they see that we’re content to sit back and whine about losing, instead of trying to fight them, they’re going to take that as a green light every time.
Instead we always need to say “okay Republicans, if you want to play it that way, we will fight back and we will still find a way to defeat you.” That way the Republicans will know that there’s a cost to trying these corrupt stunts – which will make them more cautious about trying such stunts to begin with.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report