Lawyers for Democratic Party activists suffer another setback in Florida

A Florida Court of Appeals has blasted open a lower court ruling attempting to declare a redistribution map favored by Democratic attorneys “manifestly illegal,” increasing the likelihood that the map favored by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the Florida Republican legislature actually did in November is used elections.

Democrats, led by controversial attorney Marc Elias, sued the state in April, alleging that the redrawn map violated Florida Fair Districts standards of boundaries. The biggest source of controversy concerned Congressional District 5 in Florida, which has historically been a black-majority district.

DeSantis specifically targeted this district, calling it an unacceptable racist gerrymander and threatening to veto any plan passed by the legislature that continued to preserve its historic status.

The plaintiffs initially succeeded because Leon County Judge Layne Smith — who was appointed to the bank by DeSantis — not only issued an injunction preventing the redrawn map from going into effect, but also attempted to order the state to one of which implement the maps proposed by the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs’ outcry was short-lived, however, as the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals promptly issued a stay of the injunction last week in a brief order that did not explain their reasoning.

In a ruling released Friday, the Circuit Court of Appeals broadened the injunction issued by Judge Smith as “manifestly illegal,” specifically targeting the lower court’s decision to grant not just an injunction against the legislature’s card, but one favored by the government card install plaintiff.

“In the order, the district court even recognizes that it is preparing a remedy for the complainants pending a trial. The granting of this interim relief, detached from a decision, was an unauthorized exercise of the court’s discretion that issued the injunction prima facie unlawful,” the court said.

Plaintiffs have asked the Florida Supreme Court to reverse the stay issued by the Circuit Court of Appeals, but the Supreme Court has not yet responded.

This isn’t the only loss that activist Democratic attorneys in Florida have suffered in recent times. Earlier this month, the Circuit Court of Appeals of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an order by District Judge Mark Walker, an Obama-appointee, who found that a new Florida law restricting the use of mailboxes and ballot collection was unconstitutional. The ruling means the law, which Gov. DeSantis signed into law last year, goes into effect. Lawyers for Democratic Party activists suffer another setback in Florida

Laura Coffey

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