Florida Election Law Cases Remain Pending in Federal Courts

                                    Two active federal cases dealing with the validity of recent changes to Florida’s Election Code remain pending in the Federal District Courts in the District of Columbia and the Northern District of Florida.

In State of Florida v. United States of America, et al.  pending in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, the state filed this amended complaint seeking pre-clearance of several laws passed by the state legislature in 2011. The laws at issue are the third party voter registration requirements of Fla. Stat. 97.0575, the constitutional amendment signature verification and timeliness requirements of Fla. Stat. 100.371, the change of address requirements of Fla. Stat. 101.045, and the early voting provisions of Fla. Stat. 101.657.   The state has also challenged the constitutionality of Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act requires Florida to get pre-clearance from the Department of Justice or the court before applying the new laws in Hillsborough, Hardee, Hendry, Collier and Monroe counties.   The court recently entered this scheduling order which suggests that at least some of the issues might be decided within the next few months. UPDATE.

 In League of Women Voters, et al. v. Kurt S. Browning, et al., pending in the Northern District of Florida, the League filed this amended complaint seeking a declaration that the third party voter registration requirements in Fla. Stat. 97.0575 are unconstitutional.  The court conducted a hearing on March 1, 2012, on the League’s request that the court enjoin enforcement of the law pending outcome of the case.  As of May 3, 2012, the court has not made a decision on the League’s request. READ THIS UPDATE

Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

About Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

Tom Shults is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. He has represented clients in election and sunshine law issues, complex business and commercial disputes and probate and trust suits. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983 and has maintained an active trial practice in state and federal courts for over 35 years. Mr. Shults successfully represented the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections et al. v. Browning et al. , where the Florida Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Sarasota County’s charter election law amendments. Mr. Shults has served on the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar and is the past Chairman of the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Community Service Award of the Sarasota County Bar Association for his work with the Sarasota Mental Health Community Centers. In 2013 he was nominated for circuit court judge by the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. Mr. Shults has served on the faculty of the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law and on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Program for Practicing Lawyers at Nova Southeastern University School of Law. Mr. Shults grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School (1973), Florida State University (B.S. 1977) and Washburn University School of Law (J.D. cum laude 1982). He is veteran of the United States Army.
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