The trial challenging Florida's newly drawn congressional map ended two weeks ago and the judge could rule at any time on whether the revised boundaries violate the law.
Even so, a First District Court of Appeal opinion issued Thursday could jeopardize the use of 538 pages of confidential documents that were introduced as evidence.
The appeals court voted 5-4 that the Florida Supreme Court should ultimately decide whether the Leon County circuit judge assigned to the case was correct when he gave the plaintiffs in the case — a coalition of citizens groups — access to the secret e-mails, maps and planning documents held by political consultants to Republican legislators.
Now, the Florida Supreme Court will have to decide if it wants to take up the case. If so, the high court could agree with or overturn Circuit Judge Terry Lewis' initial ruling that the secret documents were admissible in court.