Divided Florida court rules against voting rights groups

Florida Supreme Court
Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 18:10:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court says that voting rights groups can't force taxpayers to pick up their attorney fees.

The high court on Thursday narrowly rejected a request to have taxpayers pay for a lawsuit over Florida's congressional districts.

The ruling was decided on a 4-3 margin.

The League of Women Voters of Florida and a coalition of other groups wanted the court to force the state to pay their attorney fees related to a three-year legal battle. The groups successfully challenged the congressional districts adopted by the Florida Legislature.

Attorneys for the groups maintained that taxpayers should pay millions in legal fees because of the "strong public interest" in the outcome of the case.

The case decided Thursday involved fees for appeals. A different court earlier this week rejected a request to have taxpayers pay the fees in the initial redistricting trial.