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In Miami, federal judge orders Florida not to send private voter data but allows Trump commission to proceed



A Miami federal judge ruled Monday that Florida election officials can only send public data to President Donald Trump's voter fraud commission.

U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Cooke declined a request by the the ACLU to issue a temporary restraining order to ban the commission from meeting Tuesday, according to a press release from the ACLU.

Cooke's ruling leaves the battle over the commission essentially in status quo.

In June, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity's vice chair Kris Kobach asked states to send publicly available voter roll data by July 14th. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner initially said that he would provide data that is publicly available -- but not private information such as driver's license and social security numbers.

But Detzner never turned over the data because on July 10, the commission asked states to hold off due to litigation in Washington D.C. (The Florida litigation is separate.)

That's why Detzner has continued to hold off and not provide the data.

"The court ruled what the Department of State already said we would do weeks ago – only provide publicly available information as cited in Florida law and nothing beyond that," Detzner spokeswoman Sarah Revell said. "It is unclear why the ACLU felt the need to include the Department of State in their filing since they already agree with our position."

An attorney for the federal government went on record during the hearing that Florida should not produce any documents until a new directive is issued from the Commission, ACLU spokesman Baylor Johnson said.

“We are pleased that the court acted swiftly in ensuring that Florida’s chief election official maintains the privacy of voter information, which is protected from disclosure under state law," stated ACLU legal director Nancy Abudu in a statement. “We look forward to arguing the merits of this case before the court and exposing the real motivation behind this Commission: to substantiate President Trump’s and Kris Kobach’s wild and unverified accusations of the existence of rampant voter fraud, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

Cooke issued a verbal ruling -- a written ruling is expected Tuesday.

Lawyers for the federal government could not immediately be reached for comment Monday evening.