Tampa, Fla. (WFLA) – A proposed congressional map of Florida selected by Judge Layne Smith has been returned to its original location.
A judge in the First Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state temporarily blocking the map selected by Judge Smith on May 13. A third judicial action, again by Smith, vacated that stay, return the map the judge selected.
According to court records, the map was reinstated and the stay was removed Monday night. In the future, the selected map, drawn by Harvard government professor Dr. Stephen Ansolabehere, will be the map used for upcoming elections, pending protests by state officials.
State officials filed an appeal following Smith’s order on May 12, under an automatic stay order procedure. After an appeal effort halted the map, Smith ruled once again in favor of the plaintiffs – a series of groups that campaigned for the vote.
According to his latest order, “Floridians voted overwhelmingly to enact the Fair County Amendment to the Florida Constitution” in November 2010. That amendment set forth “standards by which state legislatures must follow” when drawing congressional districts. The duty of the judiciary is “to ensure that these constitutional standards are followed.”
Smith wrote in her ruling that the decision to waive the automatic stay due to a state appeal must verify whether “the stock is strongly tilted toward automatic retention,” “the ability to probability of appeal success” or “potential for irreparable harm if the automatic period of stay persists. “
The court ruled against respecting the state, especially Sec. of State Laurel M. Lee, who resigned Monday to run for the United States Congress, because of authority over the validity of an automatic stay.
“Automatic accommodation rules are based on respect for planning-level government decisions,” Smith writes. “Here, the issue is the Legislatures’ compliance with the state constitution, not some executive planning decision! So the Secretary of State is no respect. “
The judge also wrote in his decision that even if the spread was due to Lee, it would “reduce” as the “stock is heavily tilted forward” remaining in value. Part of the “convincing circumstances” decided by the court was the impact of the length of stay and the implications for the year’s upcoming election.
According to Smith, “The Plan is enacted violates the Fair County Amendment” to the state constitution, and would “reduce” the ability of Black voters to elect a representative of their choice. Recognizing that the case has “fundamental constitutional rights at stake” and that there will be no remedy for a Florida voter once their constitutional rights are violated, “.
Allowing the stay, he said, would lead to irreparable harm and would force “many North Florida voters to vote on an unconstitutional map of the congressional district.”
As a result, Smith omitted the stay and allowed Proposition A Map, which could alter the map presented by state officials, to allow Black voters to cast their ballot. them in the upcoming elections.
In response to a request for comment from WFLA.com, the governor’s office confirmed the decision would be appealed again, saying it “remains confident in our legal analysis.”
In a separate petition, Attorney General Ashley Moody, who is also a defendant in the case, has filed to have the case dismissed, arguing that the plaintiffs have not “stated cause for action against her.” it”. Moody’s summary basically states that there is no legal remedy the plaintiffs can seek against her, so she is an unnecessary party in the case.
https://www.wfla.com/news/politics/florida-congressional-map-chosen-by-judge-reinstated-before-elections/ Florida congressional map chosen by judge reinstated before elections