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Fair elections groups want court to reject DeSantis' request for advisory opinion


Fair elections advocates are urging the state Supreme Court to reject Gov. Ron DeSantis' request for an advisory opinion on whether north Florida's only Black congressional district must remain largely intact.

The state legislature hasn’t yet sent a congressional map to DeSantis for approval.

Still the governor is asking the court to weigh in on whether Congressional District 5 — which stretches from Gadsden County to parts of Jacksonville — must remain a minority access district.

While it’s the legislature’s job to draw the state’s U.S. House districts, DeSantis has the power to veto any congressional map the legislature passes. In his request for an advisory opinion, he explains he needs the court’s guidance to help him exercise that power.

Common Cause, Fair Districts Now and All On The Line Florida argue that DeSantis has no right to seek an advisory opinion from the court on a hypothetical map that the legislature — not the governor — is in charge of drawing.

The GOP-controlled legislature and the state Attorney General have both filed briefs in support of the governor’s request.

Now that all parties have weighed in on the matter, it’s up to the court to decide whether or not to issue an advisory opinion.

Valerie Crowder is a freelance journalist based in Tallahassee, Fl. She's the former ATC host/government reporter for WFSU News. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.