Florida Republican Candidate for School Board Files Brief in Lawsuit Challenging Law Forbidding Candidates to Reveal Party Membership

On January 18, Kells Hetherington filed this brief in his lawsuit against the Florida law that makes it a crime for candidates for non-partisan school boards to reveal their party membership during the campaign. He was fined $500 for saying that he is a “lifelong Republican.” Later the fine was reduced to $200. Hetherington v Madden, n.d., 3:21cv-671.

The Florida law is in section 106.143(3) of the election code. The last sentence is, “A candidate for nonpartisan office is prohibited from campaigning based on party affiliation.”

So far, the government’s defense of the law has been procedural, claiming that Hetherington sued the wrong defendant, and arguing that facts about Florida school boards mentioned in the plaintiff’s brief should be stricken, because the plaintiff cited Ballotpedia, and the government’s brief argues that references to websites like Ballotpedia are just “hearsay”.


Comments

Florida Republican Candidate for School Board Files Brief in Lawsuit Challenging Law Forbidding Candidates to Reveal Party Membership — 3 Comments

  1. Blatant violation of the 1st Amendment. If A1 isn’t about political speech, it is isn’t about anything.

  2. What is bizarre is the person who lodged the complaint in 2018 was elected as a Republican state representative in 2020. In addition according to Ballotpedia, the candidate who was elected in his district was endorsed by a county commissioner who was running in the Republican primary.

    Could a candidate state that he was endorsed by Ron DeSantis?

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