Judge Knocks Down Lawsuits; Bill Nelson’s Chances Grow Dim

‘(Rick) Scott has toed the line between imprudent campaign-trail rhetoric and problematic state action…’

Judge Knocks Down Lawsuits; Bill Nelson’s Chances Grow Dim

Bill Nelson/IMAGE: YouTube

(Gray Rohrer, Orlando Sentinel) A federal judge knocked down two lawsuits from Bill Nelson and the League of Women Voters early Friday, denying their requests to nix state rules for evaluating errant votes and for Gov. Rick Scott to recuse himself from all election-related actions as governor.

But U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker also chided Scott for nearly “crossing the line” of using his power as governor to interfere in an election to help himself as a candidate.

“Here, Scott has toed the line between imprudent campaign-trail rhetoric and problematic state action. But he has not crossed the line,” Walker wrote. “As a candidate, Scott can — and has — filed lawsuits.

“As a candidate, he can appear on television, post on social media, and even make baseless remarks about counties where populations cast majorities of ballots for his opponent.”

Walker was referring to Scott’s press conference outside the Governor’s Mansion last week warning voters to be concerned about potential “rampant fraud happening in Broward and Palm Beach.”

Nevertheless, the pair of decisions makes it even less likely that Nelson will overcome his 13,000 vote deficit to Scott in the U.S. Senate race.

A manual recount of about 60,000 undervotes and overvotes is taking place throughout the state in that race.

©2018 The Orlando Sentinel. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.