The Florida Supreme Court ordered the release of 528 pages of emails sent between partisan political consultants and state officials that detailed a strategy for illegally gerrymandering the state’s congressional districts. A Florida Circuit Court judge ruled in June that the legislature violated the Fair Districts Amendments, passed by ballot initiative in 2010, by drawing Florida’s congressional districts for partisan political gain. Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of Florida, and several Florida voters were plaintiffs. Although the emails were entered into evidence during the trial, political strategist Pat Bainter succeeded in keeping them from being released to the public or being discussed in open court. Bainter’s efforts to keep the emails secret ended on November 21 when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas declined to act on Bainter’s appeal of the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling. The emails revealed that consultants discussed:
- Packing black voters into a Miami Dade district;
- Having members of the public submit consultants’ maps to conceal their origin.
- A chart of incumbents’ addresses used to guide the map-drawing process; and
- Drawing a map that would force a sitting congressman into retirement.
Office: Common Cause Florida
Issues: Voting and Elections