January 27, 2011

ACLU of Florida Media Office; 786-363-3737;

Miami – The following statement may be attributed to Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida:

“Governor Scott’s rationale for withdrawing the letter filed by former Gov. Charlie Crist with the Department of Justice to “pre-clear” the two redistricting amendments as required under the Voting Rights Act is completely unbelievable.

“The Governor withdrew the letter seeking pre-clearance which was filed by former Gov. Crist on January 5th, but his action only became public this week.

“Governor Scott indicated that he withdrew the letter to the Department of Justice because he is concerned that the Amendments will be implemented in a fair way and wanted to assess all state rules and regulations. These are relevant concern for when the reapportionment process begins, but are not now.

“The whole point of a constitutional amendment is for the people to speak directly – bypassing the Legislature and the Governor. Other than to simply transmit the preclearance request to the U.S. Department of Justice, Governor Scott’s only role is to respect the law and the will of the people.

“The Governor’s insertion into the process is puzzling. Delaying the approval of the Justice Department is more likely an indication that this administration will do whatever it wants to frustrate and over ride the will of the voters when they disagree with the outcome.

“Most importantly, voters strongly approved of these amendments – 5 and 6 – to end the manipulation of elections through gerrymandering. It’s sad that Floridians may now need to protect these important constitutional amendments from being undermined and ignored in Tallahassee.”

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2011 Press Releases