“Legal action initiated today against Governor Scott his appointed Secretary of State is necessary because of Governor Scott’s inexplicable decision to stop the standard “preclearance” procedure for the voter-approved redistricting amendments – five and six.

“More than a week after it became public, there is still no clear reason why Governor Scott stopped the state from moving forward with federal legal approval of these voter-approved amendments.

“The only possible reason for his reversal of state policy and overt action to stop the process is to stall and delay the expressed mandate of Floridians.

“The Governor’s unilateral and unnecessary action triggered this suit today and the plaintiffs were compelled to seek judicial intervention to force the Governor to respect the will of the people.

“Remember, the whole point of a constitutional amendment is for the people to speak directly – bypassing the Legislature and the Governor. It’s unfortunate that Floridians now must go to court to keep the Governor from obstructing the process.

“We hope the courts act quickly on this issue because delay on these amendments creates uncertainty and chaos in our civil political process and could also cloud the thoughtful consideration of the redistricting
process in the Legislature and other courts.

“Governor Scott still has time to do the right thing and move these amendments forward on his own – as the people have made clear they want. Promptly reinstating the “preclearance” procedure would be best for everyone.”

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Editor’s Note: ACLU of Florida Legal Director, Randall Marshall and Laughlin McDonald, Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project in Atlanta, Georgia, are members of the legal team representing the plaintiffs in today’s suit.

A copy of the complaint filed today can be found here: http://www.aclufl.org/pdfs/2011-02-03-Preclearance-Complaint.pdf

About the ACLU of Florida: The ACLU of Florida is freedom's watchdog, working daily in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For additional information, visit our web site at: www.aclufl.org.

For more information: ACLU of Florida Media Office; 786-363-2737; media@aclufl.org

2011 Press Releases