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Get the latest coverage of the 2022 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

Fair elections groups want the state Supreme Court to reject DeSantis' request for advisory opinion

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In his request, DeSantis says he needs the court’s guidance to help him exercise the power to veto any congressional map the legislature passes.

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.

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Valerie Crowder is a freelance reporter based in Panama City, Florida. Before moving to Florida, she covered politics and education for Public Radio East in New Bern, North Carolina. While at PRE, she was also a fill-in host during All Things Considered. She got her start in public radio at WAER-FM in Syracuse, New York, where she was a part-time reporter, assistant producer and host. She has a B.A. in newspaper online journalism and political science from Syracuse University. When she’s not reporting the news, she enjoys reading classic fiction and thrillers, hiking with members of the Florida Trail Association and doing yoga.