A federal appeals court tossed out a lawsuit on Wednesday that Democrats Florida filed to overturn a state law that would place the name of the Republican candidate first on the 2020 general election ticket. Three Democratic voters and several partisan organizations had filed the suit over the practice. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that the state does not need to devise a new method for arranging candidates.

The three-judge panel upheld the 70-year law and dismissed the decision of U.S. District Judge Mark Walker. 

In November, Walker had declared the ballot law unconstitutional because it enabled a state “to put its thumb on the scale and award an electoral advantage to the party in power.” 

The higher court ruled that President Donald Trump would remain listed first on the ballot ahead of likely Democratic candidate Joe Biden.


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The appellate panel also declared that the group that sued Florida had lacked legal standing and failed to prove that the ballot order caused them harm.

“Absent any evidence of vote dilution or nullification, a citizen is not injured by the simple fact a candidate for whom she votes loses or stands to lose an election,” Judge William Pryor wrote.

Enacted in 1951, when a Democratic governor controlled state legislature, the Florida ballot order law mandated that the political party of the governor would dictate the order of the names on the ballot. The legislation called for the party of the state’s governor to appear first on the ballot.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is the present governor of the Sunshine State, meaning that Trump will now go first on the ballot.


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