Florida court orders release of secret evidence

Author: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The Florida Supreme Court is ordering the public release of evidence that was used in a landmark redistricting trial.

The court on Thursday unanimously ordered that emails and documents, as well as transcript from a closed portion of the trial, be unsealed. The ruling was unanimous.

Justices rejected arguments from Republican political consultants who argued they had constitutional rights to keep the documents private. The documents were reviewed by a judge but have not been made public.

Groups challenging Florida’s congressional map sought the documents in an effort to show that outside consultants helped the GOP-controlled Legislature to draw up new districts in violation of amendments passed by voters.

The Fair Districts amendments say legislators cannot draw districts that favor any political party or incumbents.

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