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Judge sets hearing in Brenda Snipes suspension case

A federal judge will hear arguments Jan. 7 in a legal battle about whether suspended Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes should be able to regain her job.

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker will hold a hearing in Tallahassee about a preliminary injunction sought by Snipes, according to a court docket.

Snipes filed the lawsuit Monday against Gov. Rick Scott and Senate President Bill Galvano, arguing that her due-process rights had been violated.

After a turbulent election in Broward County, Snipes announced on Nov. 18 that she would resign from the supervisor’s post effective Jan. 4. Scott on Nov. 30 issued an executive order to suspend Snipes, but she decided to rescind the resignation and fight the suspension.

The Senate has the constitutional authority to remove from office or reinstate suspended elected officials, but Galvano, a Bradenton Republican, said last week the Senate would not take up the Snipes matter because of a lack of time to conduct a “full investigation into the serious assertions” in Scott’s executive order.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to block Scott and Galvano from enforcing parts of state law and a Senate rule dealing with suspensions. It also seeks a judgment that those parts of state law and the Senate rule are “null and void” because they deprive Snipes of due process.

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