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Supremes Turn Down Attorney Fees For Map Challengers

Nick Evans

The Florida Supreme Court has rejected a bid for attorney’s fees in the state’s long running redistricting case. 

The Florida League of Women Voters was calling on the state to cover attorney’s fees incurred over a three year redistricting saga.  League attorneys argued the court should grant the money under what’s known as the private attorney general doctrine.  This idea holds private individuals should be incentivized to bring legal challenges when government watchdogs don’t bite on government malfeasance.  In a four-three vote the Supreme Court refused in a one sentence ruling.  But Justice Barbara Pariente wrote a strident dissent, joined by Justices Peggy Quince and James Perry.  She argues like Montana and Utah Florida should follow the doctrine in some circumstances.  She notes Idaho in particular chose to employ it in a redistricting fight.