Two Florida Supreme Court justices recuse themselves from issuing redistricting opinion
A line forms outside the Florida Supreme Court for the investiture of the Honorable Alan Lawson as the 86th Justice of The Supreme Court of Florida in Tallahassee, Florida

Alan Lawson becomes the 86th Florida Supreme Court Justice
The court asked for all interested parties to file briefs by Feb. 7.

Two Florida Supreme Court justices are recusing themselves from issuing an opinion regarding Florida’s congressional redistricting map.

According to a scheduling order issued Wednesday night, Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justice Alan Lawson will recuse themselves from an advisory opinion on the legality of a North Florida congressional district.

The order concerns a request from Gov. Ron DeSantis for the Florida Supreme Court to weigh in early on the constitutionality of Florida’s 5th Congressional District. A jurisdiction analogous to the Tallahassee-to-Jacksonville district appears on all draft legislative proposals but not on draft cartography submitted by the Governor’s office last month.

The Supreme Court requested all parties interested in the issue submit briefs on or before noon Feb. 7.

Five justices issued the order, but the more prominent names had no role in the order.

The absence of Canady, a former Republican U.S. Representative himself, could be particularly impactful. Then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Canady in 2008. CD 5 in its current configuration went into effect when the Florida Supreme Court in 2015 threw out a map produced by the Florida Legislature. But Canady wrote the dissent on that ruling.

The decision paved the way for now-U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Tallahassee Democrat, to defeat incumbent Corrine Brown, a Jacksonville Democrat, in a primary in 2016. Rep. Al Lawson is not related to Justice Alan Lawson, appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2016.

The order offered no reason why Lawson or Canady recused themselves from this case or whether they intend to stay out of other redistricting matters expected to come before the court soon.

But there has been speculation Canady may have to recuse himself. His wife, Lakeland Republican Jennifer Canady, has filed for a Florida House of Representatives seat. If that’s the reason Justice Canady recused from the advisory opinion on the congressional map, it could signal he won’t participate in any opinions on redistricting.

Rep. Lawson has signaled he will fight any effort in court to dismantle CD 5.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Tom

    February 2, 2022 at 9:58 pm


  • BlueNoMatterWho

    February 2, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    How sad it is that our state supreme court justices have more integrity than our federal justices do.

    • Charlotte Greenbarg

      February 3, 2022 at 7:51 am

      Your moniker says everything we need to know about you. No matter who. 🤮

  • Matthew Lusk

    February 3, 2022 at 8:34 am

    Why would Republicans, or Democrats for that matter, in the House even think about going along with the current CD 5 configuration. It’s blatantly racist. A guaranteed win by gerrymandering is not “voter rights” as Al conman Lawson says; it’s unfair help Lawson needs to win an election. Access district does not mean special privileges to win. It’s time Lawson stops selling out the black race to the banking cartel. Not only does Lawson need to configure a discriminating encompassment, he must fan the flames of racial hatred of Whites to get Blacks to vote for him since his policies are so anti- Black and anti- American. Al Lawson is a fraud.

    • Evan Miller

      February 3, 2022 at 8:48 am

      The only true racists are liberals.

  • Matthew Lusk

    February 3, 2022 at 8:48 am

    The 4th Reich overseers in the banking cartel love Al Lawson because he is a guaranteed vote for the New World Order. Al has no problem taking the cash and prestige and selling out the American people including his own black race. The NAZI bankers knowing statistical data and the high value blacks place on candidates of their on race more so than all other races at this period in history, have groomed and exploited Al with conman Al’s complete compliance. It should be screaming obvious to any black woman getting an abortion or any black man competing against illegal aliens, Al Lawson’s policies are the black community’s pain.

  • Matthew Lusk

    February 3, 2022 at 9:40 am

    Judge Canady and Judge Lawson should give out a press release as to why they are recusing themselves on such an important matter. Often recusals are for trite reasons and often recusals can effect the outcome of a court’s ruling. Recusals are, ironically, materially participatory because one recusal may very well decide operative law. So why recuse? Association does not necessarily mean bias and thus error , nor does recusal necessarily mean clean hands indifference.

Comments are closed.


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