By withdrawing the two popular “Fair Districts” amendments from a Department of Justice review, Gov. Rick Scott and Secretary of State Kurt Browning are causing “uncertainty, delay and confusion” for all those involved in the redistricting process — that’s the allegation leveled in a lawsuit filed yesterday against the two by the League of Women Voters, the state NAACP, Democracia Ahora and others.
The move comes after news broke last week that Scott asked the Department of State to put a halt to its request that the Department of Justice review and approve Amendments 5 and 6 — two anti-gerrymandering measures overwhelmingly approved by voters last November. On Jan. 7, then-Acting Secretary of State Jennifer Kennedy wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice doing just that.
Browning had been named as Scott’s pick for secretary of state two days before Kennedy’s letter, but Department of State Communications Director Trey Stapleton emailed The Florida Independent to state that Browning had “no involvement” with the withdrawal process.
Nevertheless, this new lawsuit alleges that Browning played a role in the decision. As we reported at length last October, Browning served as president of Protect Your Vote, a group dedicated to defeating Amendments 5 and 6, during the 2010 elections. In a YouTube clip that has since been removed, Browning said the amendments were “just not good for Florida.”
Read the complaint in full: