Friday, May 01, 2020

Trump's name can be first on Florida ballot, court says. (AP)

A petition for en banc review should be filed asking the entire 11th Circuit to decide this case.

Trump's name can be first on Florida ballot, court says

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A federal appeals court on Wednesday dealt a major blow to Democrats in the battleground state of Florida, throwing out a lawsuit that sought to roll back a law that puts President Donald Trump’s name first on the 2020 ballot.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the group suing Florida over the nearly 70-year-old rule lacked legal standing to challenge the law and failed to prove any injury. 
The decision means Florida election officials can keep Republican candidates listed first on the ballot. 
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in November declared the law unconstitutional because it “allows a state to put its thumb on the scale and award an electoral advantage to the party in power.” He issued a permanent injunction that prevented state and local officials from using the law when assembling the 2020 ballot.
But a three-judge panel of the appeals court concluded that the three voters and six organizations that sued — including the Democratic National Committee — had not conclusively shown they were harmed by the ballot order and vacated Walker’s ruling.
“Absent any evidence of vote dilution or nullification, a citizen is not injured by the simple fact a candidate for whom she votes loses or stands to lose an election,” Judge William Pryor wrote for the court.
Florida’s ballot order law was enacted in 1951 when Democrats controlled the legislature and governor’s mansion. It requires that candidates who belong to the party of the governor be listed first on the ballot. Republicans have won every race for governor since 1998.

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