State requests more time in felons' rights battle – Florida Politics (blog)
Just hours before Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet were scheduled to meet late Wednesday, attorneys for the state filed an emergency motion with a federal appeals court to try to delay a deadline for revamping the process of restoring felons’ voting rights.
The motion, filed Wednesday in the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, also raised the possibility that the state could take the dispute to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 11th-hour maneuvering came as Scott and Cabinet members, who act as the state Board of Executive Clemency, prepared to meet by phone at 9:30 p.m. to address an order by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker that they overhaul the vote-restoration process by Thursday.
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office on April 6 asked the appeals court for a stay of Walker’s order. But as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the appeals court had not issued a ruling on that stay request.
With time dwindling, Bondi’s office filed an emergency motion seeking a “temporary and limited stay of the part of the district court’s order requiring appellants (Scott and the Cabinet) to ‘promulgate’ and ‘file’ new rules of executive clemency by April 26, 2018” while the April 6 stay request remains pending.
Also, the emergency motion asked for 10 additional days to allow the state to go to the U.S. Supreme Court if the appeals court denies the stay.
“This (appeals court) should have a fair chance to assess the stay-related arguments submitted by the parties, and appellants should have a fair chance to seek relief from this court and the Supreme Court before promulgating new rules of executive clemency,” the emergency motion said. “Absent a temporary and limited stay of the April 26 deadline, the Board (of Executive