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Fearing court action, Rick Scott calls emergency meeting of clemency board

Governor acts on eve of federal appeals court decision.
[Tampa Bay Times]
[Tampa Bay Times]
Published Apr. 25, 2018|Updated Apr. 25, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott called an emergency meeting of the Cabinet for Wednesday in anticipation of a federal court not approving a delay in adopting a new system of granting the right to vote to convicted felons.

Underscoring the emergency action, Scott called a meeting of the Board of Clemency by telephone.

Scott acted in the absence of a decision of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, which has not acted on the state's request to stay a lower court decision that struck down the state's system of restoring voting rights to felons and ordered a new system to be instituted by April 26.

"This meeting will be open to the public, who will have an opportunity to provide input at the beginning of the meeting," Scott's office said in a statement Tuesday night. "If a stay is not issued, the meeting agenda will be for the board to consider how to respond to the lower court's decision."

A release from the governor's office called U.S. District Judge Mark Walker's decision "haphazard."

The governor's office and Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is providing legal advice to the clemency board in the case, released this agenda for Wednesday night's meeting.

RELATED COVERAGE: Federal judge orders Rick Scott, Cabinet to create new voting rights restoration system for felons by April 26.

Rick Scott, Cabinet seek to delay order on felons' voting rights

Rick Scott has made enemies over voting rights during the last eight years

The court's decision can be found here.

Scott and the Cabinet have had a month to respond to the court ruling, but scheduled a meeting for 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night at the Capitol. Why 9:30? To give the public 24 hours notice from a 9:30 p.m. advisory.


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