A Florida appeals court reinstated a GOP-friendly map Friday signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, overturning a prior ruling blocking the map from taking effect.

The 1st District Court of Appeals put a stay on a prior court injunction as it evaluates that decision, allowing the map to go back into effect amid a legal battle over the state's congressional apportionment that could head to the Florida Supreme Court.

"Given the exigency of the circumstances and the need for certainty and continuity as election season approaches, on the court's own motion, the stay of the temporary injunction is reinstated pending the court's disposition of the motion for review of the trial court's vacatur of the automatic stay, which will be promptly forthcoming," the 1st District Court of Appeals wrote.


A final decision on the lawfulness of last week's lower court ruling had not been made. The court has simply stayed the order while it evaluates the prior decision.

But the court signaled it may be poised to nix the entire ruling, noting there was a "high likelihood" the order was "unlawful."

"The court has determined there is a high likelihood that the temporary injunction is unlawful, because by awarding a preliminary remedy to the appellees' on their claim, the order 'frustrated the status quo, rather than preserved it,'" the court wrote.

The ruling is the latest in a string of head-spinning back-and-forth battles over the map. Last week, a judge issued a temporary injunction and ordered the state to use a new map that restored the state's 5th Congressional District. DeSantis fought with fellow Republicans in the state legislature to change the 5th Congressional District, which he decried as racially gerrymandered. The legislature ultimately caved and sent him a map that broke up the district, which Judge Layne Smith, a DeSantis-appointed judge, said breached the Fair Districts Amendment because it diminished the power of minority voters.

That order was then stayed automatically because of the state's appeal, allowing the map back into effect. A judge then lifted the stay Monday, nixing the map again prior to the Friday ruling.


Democrats have been keen on toppling the DeSantis-backed map, which was poised to boost Republicans' 16-11 congressional advantage to 20-8. The state received an additional seat due to the latest census. Smith's ruling was set to cost Republicans at least one of those seats. The Sunshine State has been one of the GOP's top redistricting boons of the cycle.

The ruling on Friday marks another redistricting loss for Democrats following a New York special master proposal on Monday that obliterated Democratic gains in the Empire State and put several incumbent Democrats on collision courses for contentious primary elections. A version of that map is expected to be enacted into law on Friday.