Florida\u0026#039;s Republican-controlled House voted along party lines Thursday to approve a congressional map drawn by the office of right-wing Gov. Ron DeSantis, a move that came after state Democrats staged a sit-in on the chamber\u0026#039;s floor to condemn the redistricting plan as unconstitutional and racist.\r\n\r\nThe map, which cleared the state Senate on Wednesday, now heads to DeSantis\u0026#039; desk for his signature—a mere formality given that he preapproved the district lines at the behest of the state Legislature\u0026#039;s Republican leaders, who ceded control of the process.\r\n\r\n\u0022We are here taking a stand to stop the attacks, stop the Black attacks.\u0022\r\n\r\nAs the vote took place, Florida Democrats chanted that \u0022Black votes are under attack,\u0022 echoing experts\u0026#039; warnings that the map is \u0022deeply racist.\u0022 The New York Times reported Wednesday that the redistricting plan \u0022would end the congressional career of [U.S.] Representative Al Lawson, a Black Democrat from Jacksonville, by carving up a district that stretches across North Florida to combine Black neighborhoods in Jacksonville and Tallahassee.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022It would also eliminate an Orlando district held by Representative Val Demings, a Democrat, and pack Black voters from two districts in Tampa and St. Petersburg into one, creating a second district certain to be won by a Republican,\u0022 the Times noted.\r\n\r\nThe map, which heavily favors Republicans overall, is expected to face legal challenges.\r\n\r\nThe House vote Thursday was held after a group of Florida Democrats, led by Black lawmakers, disrupted debate on the congressional map by taking control of the floor and holding a sit-in and a prayer-in.\r\n\r\n\u0022We are here taking a stand to stop the attacks, stop the Black attacks,\u0022 said state Rep. Angie Nixon (D-14), who helped lead the demonstration. \u0022We need to ensure we adhere to fair districts. We need to ensure all Floridians have a voice... What they do to one of us they do to all of us.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Miami Herald reported that \u0022an hour into the protest, House officials appeared to have cut off the wifi as protesting lawmakers were posting live videos.\u0022 The House sergeant-at-arms also removed an Associated Press photographer from the floor.\r\n\r\nFollowing a brief recess, Republicans returned to the chamber and pushed through the map.\r\n\r\n\u0022This is not democracy,\u0022 state Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-47) tweeted following the vote, warning that Republicans are \u0022drunk on power and bullying anyone in their way into submission.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLast week, as Common Dreams reported, the Republican leaders of Florida\u0026#039;s Legislature announced that they were \u0022awaiting a communication from the governor\u0026#039;s office with a map that he will support,\u0022 effectively handing DeSantis the power to craft the state\u0026#039;s congressional districts ahead of the crucial 2022 midterm elections.\r\n\r\n\u0022The governor\u0026#039;s map is a blatant and illegal partisan gerrymander.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe Republicans\u0026#039; move came after DeSantis vetoed a congressional map that state lawmakers approved last month, demanding more aggressive action targeting a pair of districts represented by Black Democrats.\r\n\r\nAt present, the Washington Post noted Wednesday, \u0022Florida has 27 congressional districts, 16 of which are represented by Republicans and 11 by Democrats.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Under the new map, which was proposed by DeSantis himself, Republicans would probably represent 20 districts while Democrats would represent eight,\u0022 the newspaper added.\r\n\r\nIn a series of tweets on Thursday, the ACLU of Florida argued that \u0022the governor\u0026#039;s map is a blatant and illegal partisan gerrymander.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022These maps clearly sever Black communities across the state, manipulate the lines to favor the governor\u0026#039;s party, and diminish minority voting ability in violation of the Fair Districts requirements—which were enshrined in the Florida Constitution by a supermajority of Floridians,\u0022 the group added. \u0022Leaders of the Florida House and Senate abdicated their responsibility to craft a fair, constitutional map and ceded its authority to a governor who is clearly not interested in respecting Fair Districts.\u0022\r\n\r\nThis story has been updated to include comments from the ACLU of Florida.