In other news, Judge Mark Walker absolutely crushed Rick Scott and Pam Bondi in this order yesterday. It starts out this way:
Rather than comply with the requirements of the United States Constitution, Defendants continue to insist they can do whatever they want with hundreds of thousands of Floridians’ voting rights and absolutely zero standards. They ask this Court to stay its prior orders. ECF No. 163.
Marc Caputo and Matt Dixon of Politico's Playbook summarize the order:
It was a little challenging putting together Florida Playbook because it took extra time to pull the choicest quotes from federal Judge Mark E. Walker's order on Wednesday torching Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi's legal arguments as the state defends its "arbitrary" clemency process. It might have been easier to just reprint the entire order. Wrote the judge: "this court does not play games." Indeed. Nor did he pull punches in noting that the Republican politicians' have "personal stakes in shaping the electorate" in the way they restore felons' voting rights. It's a pretty direct shot at Scott as he plans to announce next week whether he'll run for Senate.
DRIPPING WITH SARCASM, Walker said Scott, Bondi and the rest of the clemency board should get to work respecting the First and Fourteenth Amendments by drafting a constitutionally sound clemency scheme by April 26. "Bitter pills are clearly too hard to swallow," Walker snarked, saying they "fall woefully short" in some areas and "regurgitate" arguments that are "unpersuasive ... disingenuous ... astounding" or are "rooted in neither common sense nor reality."
'SCREAM INTO THE WIND' - Walker even compared them to toddlers: "Defendants stamp their feet and wail that 30 days is 'not [a] reasonably calculated' time to create a constitutional system of executive clemency. This Court again declines to act as a fifth Board member. But drafting new rules need not be complicated or time-consuming. Defendants could simply identify those rules that run afoul of the Constitution and rewrite them with specific and neutral standards. Instead, Defendants scream into the wind various questions it might consider in crafting constitutional rules. Answering those questions may be a better use of time."