Three Claims Against Sarasota County Dismissed
TALLAHASSEE, FL – May 6, 2020 – GrayRobinson Shareholders Andy Bardos, James Timothy Moore, Jr., and John A. Boudet delivered a win this week for Sarasota County in its redistricting case in the Tampa Division of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Sarasota County redrew its county-commission districts in November 2019. The new redistricting plan was subsequently challenged on three claims.
Since January, Bardos successfully moved to dismiss one claim—a claim under the Florida Constitution—and secured the voluntary dismissal of a claim under the federal Voting Rights Act. As for the third claim, which alleged that racial considerations predominated in the drawing of commission districts, an expedited trial had been scheduled for May 11, 2020 in an effort to resolve the case before this year’s election cycle.
A week before the trial, however, the Court granted a motion for summary judgment and found no need for a trial. The Court concluded the evidence did not support the plaintiffs’ claim that the commission districts had been racially gerrymandered. This was a huge success for GrayRobinson and its client, Sarasota County.
GrayRobinson has extensive experience in redistricting matters, having represented the Florida House of Representatives in the last two redistricting cycles. Bardos represented the Florida Senate through the 2012 redistricting of state legislative and congressional districts and the Florida House of Representatives in the redistricting litigation that followed. George Levesque, a shareholder in GrayRobinson’s Tallahassee office, served as general counsel to the Florida House of Representatives and then general counsel to the Florida Senate during the redistricting process and subsequent litigation.
To review the full order, please click here.
Read press coverage below:
"Judge Rules Sarasota County Redistricting Legal, New Lines Stand for 2020," Florida Politics
"Sarasota County May Seek Court Costs in Redistricting Lawsuit," Herald-Tribune
"Sarasota County Will Go After Plaintiffs In Redistricting Case To Recover Court Costs," GVTC Communications