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Surprise! Judge rejects Florida's request

U.S. Judge Stephan Mickle late Wednesday turned down Florida's request for a stay in the ongoing legal battle over the state's voter registration law, a decision that in effect keeps intact the injunction that the judge slapped last week against the state. Micke's injunction blocks the state from enforcing the "no match" law that requires information on a voter registration application to match information found in state or federal databases in order for a voter to be eligible to vote.

Mickle rejected arguments from state lawyers that the change in election laws so close to the Jan. 29th presidential primary would create voter confusion and chaos. Mickle said that the state had not presented enough evidence to show that a stay of his previous injunction order was "warranted" and he argued that election supervisors can still verify the identity of voters without the match. Read order here: Download order_denying_motion_to_stay.pdf

Last week Secretary of State Kurt Browning announced that the state would add roughly 14,000 voters to the state voting rolls even though the voters were initially deemed ineligible to vote because they did not meet the matching requirements.

(UPDATE: Judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit - including former Florida Supreme Court Justice Rosemary Barkett -- have also turned down Florida's request to stay Mickle's injunction. But the appeals court did grant a motion to expedite the case, requiring all legal briefs to be filed by Jan. 14.)