A state judge on Wednesday invalidated part of Florida\u0026#039;s new congressional map—drawn by right-wing Gov. Ron DeSantis\u0026#039; office and approved last month by the Republican-controlled Legislature—siding with plaintiffs who accused the GOP of violating the state constitution through racial gerrymandering.\r\n\r\nJudge Layne Smith of the 2nd Circuit Court said that \u0022the enacted map is unconstitutional because it diminishes African Americans\u0026#039; ability to elect candidates of their choice.\u0022\r\n\r\nAs The Guardian reported, Smith\u0026#039;s ruling \u0022dealt specifically with DeSantis\u0026#039; decision to dismantle Florida\u0026#039;s 5th Congressional District,\u0022 which \u0022stretched from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, was 46% Black, and is currently represented by Al Lawson, a Black Democrat.\u0022\r\n\r\nDeSantis, the outlet noted, \u0022chopped the district up into four districts where Republican candidates would be favored to win.\u0022 The new map, described as \u0022deeply racist\u0022 by experts, would end Lawson\u0026#039;s congressional career.\r\n\r\nAs Jacksonville\u0026#039;s The Tributary reported Wednesday:\r\n\r\n\r\n[Smith] ordered the state to adopt a map that maintains an east-to-west version of Jacksonville\u0026#039;s 5th Congressional District, stretching from Duval to Gadsden counties.\r\n\r\nThe ruling came after a Wednesday hearing that saw plaintiffs argue that Gov. Ron DeSantis\u0026#039; congressional map, which eliminated Jacksonville\u0026#039;s current Black ability-to-elect district, violated the state constitution.\r\n\r\n\r\nEqual Ground Florida, one of the civil rights groups that immediately challenged DeSantis\u0026#039; map after it was passed in the face of a sit-in staged by state Democrats, welcomed Smith\u0026#039;s ruling.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022The Florida Legislature\u0026#039;s redistricting maps in the 1990s and 2010s were similarly struck down, but in those cases, it took six years to get a final ruling,\u0022 The Tributary reported. \u0022This time, the plaintiffs sought to focus on getting a preliminary injunction redrawing North Florida\u0026#039;s districts before the 2022 elections. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs are still seeking a full trial to get the whole map thrown out.\u0022\r\n\r\nSmith is expected to release a written order by Thursday. DeSantis\u0026#039; office has vowed to appeal. It would first go to the 1st District Court of Appeals and could potentially end up at the Florida Supreme Court.