A lawsuit claims a congressional map signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis was “infected by racial discrimination.” But Attorneys for Secretary of State Laurel Lee argue preserving a North Florida district as it was configured the last three election cycles would be the true racist decision — and one that unfairly benefits Democrats.
In a court brief responding to allegations by Black Voters Matter and other groups, counsel defending the state’s new map say cartography implemented by the Florida Supreme Court in 2015 drew districts illegally with race as a motivating factor.
The brief opens by quoting a Washington state ruling that declared “the way to stop discriminating on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
“Plaintiffs ask the court to turn this truism on its head and revert to some racially gerrymandered congressional map that packs Black voters from Florida’s First Coast together with Black voters over 200 miles away from Florida’s Big Bend,” a brief filed on behalf of the state argues.
A new map (P 0109) designed by DeSantis’ staff and signed last month dismantled Florida’s 5th Congressional District, represented now by Democratic U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, and shifted every north Florida district to do so. This results in Jacksonville being split between two Republican-leaning seats, with no Democratic leaning seats existing in Florida north of the Orlando area.
Attorneys for the plaintiff groups, who are backed financially by former Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Redistricting Foundation, have argued the DeSantis map violated Florida’s Fair Districts amendment. That amendment prohibits drawing districts that diminish the ability of minority communities to elect a congressional representative of their choice. It also prohibits drawing maps to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent.
The DeSantis map produced 20 congressional districts where Republican Donald Trump won the 2020 Presidential Election and just eight where Democrat Joe Biden won.
Minority advocates say the map will most likely cut in half the number of districts where Black voters effectively determine the outcome, both by dismantling Lawson’s district and reconfiguring Florida’s 10th Congressional District, represented now by Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings. While CD 10 remains a Biden district, Black voters under the new map no longer make up a significant portion of the Primary electorate.
The plaintiffs, represented by Democratic attorney Marc Elias, argued courts should block the use of the map in North Florida. Federal courts will not toss the map before the 2022 Midterms and there is limited time for state courts to act.
Election Supervisors over the course of a federal case already suggested they need a map in place by May 13, at the latest, to prepare for the Midterms.
Attorneys for the state say blocking implementation of the DeSantis map, even only in North Florida, will be politically disruptive in seven of Florida’s 28 U.S. House districts.
“Worse still, Plaintiffs ask that the court do so on the eve of an election after election administrators have already begun (and some have already completed) implementing the State’s duly-enacted congressional map,” the brief states.
Changes to district lines also boost the chance of voter confusion the closer an election they happen, the brief argues.
“Plaintiffs’ sudden urge to gamble finds refuge in no legal precedent,” the brief reads. “In its prior redistricting case, for example, the Florida Supreme Court waited until after a trial on the merits and after giving the Florida Legislature an opportunity to adopt a remedial congressional plan before imposing one of its own.”
In a 197-page legal brief filed in Florida circuit court, attorneys for the state lay out the same argument DeSantis employed when he vetoed a congressional plan produced by the Legislature.
Then, he argued preserving the old CD 5 shape would violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Robert Popper, an expert with Judicial Watch who testified against the Legislature’s map during the Legislative Session, provided written testimony arguing that point.
“I understand that there will be little dispute that the district was drawn with its racial characteristics as the predominant consideration.” Popper wrote. “I also understand that the shape of the district will be well-explained by the effort to include African-American populations around Tallahassee and Jacksonville. Moreover, the district clearly violates traditional districting criteria.”
Popper notably co-created the Polsby-Popper test, one of three widely recognized compactness metrics for political jurisdictions. He notes the old Lawson district scores poorly by all measures on compactness.
Regardless, the state argues critics of the map simply have yet to prove it actually diminishes voting power for minorities.
It also suggests the current makeup of CD 5 doesn’t in fact guarantee Black voters decide an election — just that Democrats hold an edge.
“Plaintiffs hope to mask their partisan intentions as race-consciousness, without ever exploring whether race is the cause of voting patterns and not merely correlated with partisan voting patterns,” the brief states.
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Netflix Adds Graphic Violence Warning Ahead of ‘Stranger Things 4’ Premiere After Texas Shooting
Netflix has added a content warning ahead of the fourth season of Stranger Things following the horrific shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children dead along with two teachers.
The disclaimer that will appear during Friday’s premiere will say that the show will contain violent content involving children in the first scene, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“We filmed this season of Stranger Things a year ago,” the warning reads. “But given the recent tragic shooting at a school in Texas, viewers may find the opening scene of episode 1 distressing. We are deeply saddened by this unspeakable violence, and our hearts go out to every family mourning a loved one.”
Netflix Puts Warning on ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 After School Shooting https://t.co/xgZkQfvSqL
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 26, 2022
The description for the premiere episode will also include: “Warning: Contains graphic violence involving children.”
The disclaimer will only be shown in the United States and not globally.
A Netflix spokesperson explained that the opening scene is “very graphic” and warranted the warning.
“We decided to add the card given the proximity of the premiere to this tragedy — and because the opening scene is very graphic,” the spokesperson said.
The move comes after CBS pulled the FBI season finale that featured a student involved in a deadly robbery. Beyond television, other artists have adjusted their schedules in the wake of the shooting. “American Pie” singer Don McLean pulled out of singing at the upcoming NRA convention in Houston.
“In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at their convention in Houston this week,” McLean said.
“I’m sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well. After all, we are all Americans. I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation,” he concluded.
Musicians Lee Greenwood and Larry Gatlin are still scheduled to perform at the convention as well as Danielle Peck
FACT CHECK: Jimmy Kimmel Falsely Claims ‘There was an Armed Guard in Uvalde’
CLAIM: During Wednesday’s opening dialogue, Jimmy Kimmel said, “There was an armed guard in Uvalde.”
MOSTLY FALSE: On Wednesday authorities tentatively indicated there was an officer at the school, but on Thursday they said there was not.
Kimmel did not wait for the facts.
Breitbart News noted that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reported there was no armed school resource officer at the Uvalde school when a gunman entered.
DPS Regional Director Victor Escalon indicated that at 11:28 a.m., after the gunman crashed a pickup truck near the school and began his attack, the gunman climbed a four-foot-high chain link fence around the school and fired at the school as he approached. He also fired at two eyewitnesses at a funeral home nearby. By 11:40 a.m., he had approached the west side of the school. He “was not confronted by anybody” outside the school, armed or otherwise.
Escalon stressed that was no school resource officer on campus, and that the first report came to police at 11:30 a.m.
During his Wednesday night dialogue, Jimmy Kimmel joined the chorus of gun controllers who rejected the role of a good guy with gun based on the false belief that there had been an armed guard at Uvalde.
Kimmel said, “If your solution to children being massacred is armed guards, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on.” He then noted that an armed guard was present in Buffalo and mentioned there was an officer in Parkland, although he did not mention the Parkland school officer did not go into the building to confront the gunman.
Then Kimmel said, “There was an armed guard in Uvalde.”
The Texas DPS tells a different story. There was no armed guard at Uvalde.
Kimmel did not wait for the facts.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at email@example.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.
Leftist Journalist Julia Ioffe: ‘What If You Could Perform an Abortion with an AR-15?’
Julia Ioffe, founding partner and Washington correspondent for Puck News, found herself in hot water on Wednesday night when she tweeted that 2nd Amendment advocates would suddenly be for banning AR-15 rifles if they were tools used in abortions.
“What if you could perform an abortion with an AR-15? What if the 19 kids killed [in] Uvalde weren’t children, but fetuses?” Ioffe said in her now-deleted tweet.
Twitter users immediately pounced on Ioffe for not only using the horrible tragedy in Texas as a vehicle to plug abortion but also for suggesting that 19 children would suddenly have no inherent value to her if they were killed in the womb – a mad dash of irony that seemed to escape her.
“You’d defend it?” responded National Journalism Center program director Becket Adams. “What even is the purpose of tweets like hers? What good does it serve? Nothing of value has been done on this website in the past 72 hours, and it’s only getting worse.”
“Don’t kill kids at school and don’t kill kids in the womb — in fact don’t kill them anywhere — is my baseline. Is it yours?” tweeted Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy.
“Where have I seen this before? Oh, right, on a pro-life t-shirt,” tweeted National Review Washington correspondent John McCormack.
Though Ioffe deleted the tweet, she issued no apology. As noted by Fox News, her statement echoes her flub from 2021 in which she made an inadvertent pro-life argument while attacking the Texas Heartbeat Act.
“If you are anti-choice and you want to make sure women carry every pregnancy to term, why not make the person who created the pregnancy contribute? Why not have men pay child support to the women they impregnate? Surely, it is not the woman’s responsibility alone?” she tweeted.
Indeed, hardcore leftists and opposers of gun rights have (quite oddly) been citing abortion as some trump card against pro-lifers in the wake of the Texas massacre.
“YOU CAN KILL CHILDREN IN SCHOOL IN TEXAS BUT CAN’T GET AN ABORTION,” tweeted Rob Reiner’s daughter, Romy Reiner, which the director himself retweeted.
YOU CAN KILL CHILDREN IN SCHOOL IN TEXAS BUT CAN’T GET AN ABORTION.
— romy (@romyreiner) May 24, 2022
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