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Florida Supreme Court holds testy hearing on secret evidence used in redistricting trial

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — A lawyer representing a Republican consultant clashed with Florida Supreme Court justices over secret evidence used in the state's landmark trial on redistricting.

The high court is deciding whether emails and documents taken from a Gainesville political consulting firm should have been used in the case.

A judge earlier this year ruled that state legislators broke the law in 2012 when drawing up a new map for Congress. The evidence was heard at the trial, but it was kept from the public.

Attorney Kent Safriet argued his clients have First Amendment rights that lets them keep their political activities private.

But some justices questioned why the firm's attorneys did not make that claim until after a lower court judge had ruled they needed to turn over the documents.

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