TALLAHASSE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Documents produced by a group of political consultants must remain sealed until the 1st District Court of Appeal can hear a request that the papers not be used in a redistricting trial set to begin Monday.
In a ruling Friday, the appeals court said the 538 pages of documents shouldn’t be used in court until it can rule on an argument by the political consultants that revealing the information would divulge trade secrets and harm their First Amendment rights.
The court said the consultants should file a written brief by the end of the day Monday, with a reply from voting-rights groups challenging congressional districts due by the close of business Tuesday.
Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis will begin hearing testimony Monday in the case, which revolves around whether lawmakers violated the anti-gerrymandering Fair Districts Amendments when they redrew political boundaries in 2012.
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