In another twist in Florida’s redistricting legal saga, Secretary of State Ken Detzner will ask a federal appeals court to dismiss him from a lawsuit filed by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown that challenges her redrawn district. Detzner’s attorney filed a notice last week that said the secretary of state is appealing a district-court ruling that kept him as a defendant in Brown’s lawsuit, which argues that a new redistricting plan violates the federal Voting Rights Act. The secretary of state, Florida’s chief elections officer, has contended for months that he is legally shielded from being a defendant in the case. A document filed in September, for example, said Detzner, “as a matter of law, is not responsible for congressional redistricting — that is uniquely a legislative function.” But a three-judge panel handling Brown’s case in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee rejected Detzner’s argument that he should be dismissed from the case.
That ruling last month said, in part, that “Congresswoman Brown is not suing Detzner merely because he sits nominally at the top of an agency far removed from any challenged conduct. She is challenging the implementation and enforcement of congressional districts allegedly drawn in violation of federal law. As secretary of state, Detzner is connected to and responsible for many aspects of elections in Florida, including maintaining uniformity in the interpretation and implementation of Florida’s election laws … registering voters … bringing actions against local election officials to enforce Florida election law … gathering information on voting irregularities … and certifying the qualifications and nominations of candidates for office.”
Full Article: Secretary of state appeals Brown redistricting case.