Ashley Brooke Moody (born March 28, 1975) is an American attorney and politician serving as the Florida attorney general since January 2019.

During her tenure as Florida attorney general, Moody has supported lawsuits to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, advocated against restoration of voting rights for former felons, and opposed the legalization of recreational marijuana. Moody was a significant surrogate of then-President Donald Trump in Florida during the 2020 presidential election, and joined in the Texas v. Pennsylvania lawsuit, which sought to overturn the results of the election.

Early life and education

Moody was born in Plant City, Florida, on March 28, 1975.[1] She is the oldest of three children born to Carol and Judge James S. Moody Jr.[2]

Moody graduated from Plant City High School in 1993.[3] She received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in accounting from University of Florida. While attending the University of Florida, she served as president of Florida Blue Key.[4] Moody earned a Master of Laws in international law from Stetson University College of Law, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida School of Law.[5]

Moody interned for Martha Barnett, the president of the American Bar Association,[2] and later joined the law firm Holland & Knight, working in civil litigation.[6]

In January 1998, Moody switched her party affiliation from Democratic to Republican. Upon his election, Florida governor Jeb Bush appointed her to be the student representative on the Board of Regents, a now-defunct body that ran the state’s university system.[1]

Political career

Moody was appointed an assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida.[7] In 2006, Moody was elected to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, which consisted of Hillsborough County.[8][9][10]

Florida Attorney General

Moody resigned on April 28, 2017, in order to run for Florida Attorney General in the 2018 elections.[11][12] She won the Republican Party primary, defeating state representative Frank White, who attacked Moody for originally registering as a Democrat.[13][14] In the general election, Moody faced state representative Sean Shaw. Moody defeated Shaw, receiving 52% of the vote to Shaw’s 46%.[15]

Health care

Moody kept Florida in a lawsuit that seeks to have the Affordable Care Act deemed unconstitutional.[16][17]

Michael Flynn

In May 2020, Moody urged the federal government to drop its case against Trump associate Michael Flynn who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.[18]

Marijuana

Moody opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana.[19][20]

In April 2021, following a pending 2022 ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida, Moody asked the Florida Supreme Court to review whether the initiative was suitable for the 2022 election. The Florida Supreme Court ruled with a 5-2 majority that the wording of the proposed amendment was “misleading” because the initiative (which cannot be longer than 75 words) did not specify that recreational marijuana would still be illegal at the federal level. This effectively killed the ballot initiative by forcing the organizers, Make It Legal Florida, to have to redraft the amendment and recollect signatures.[21][22]

Voting rights

Moody opposes the restoration of voting rights for former felons.[23] Following the passing of Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative in 2018, Moody, along with Governor Ron DeSantis, helped push a bill through the Florida Senate that would only restore voting rights to eligible felons once the felon has paid all of their court fees. In September 2020, after billionaire Michael Bloomberg raised $16 million to pay 32,000 felons’ court fees, which would make them eligible to vote in the 2020 elections, Moody asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate Bloomberg, claiming he potentially violated election laws.[24]

2020 presidential election

During the 2020 presidential election, Politico described Moody as “one of Donald Trump’s biggest surrogates” in Florida.[4] After Joe Biden won the election and Trump refused to concede, Moody took a leading role in aiding Trump’s attempts to overturn the election.[18]

On December 9, 2020, Moody and 15 other state attorneys general announced their support for a lawsuit by Ken Paxton, the Texas Attorney General, asking the Supreme Court of the United States to invalidate the presidential election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which were all won by Biden.[25] There was no evidence of large-scale fraud in the election,[26][27] and the court decided 7-2 not to hear the Texas lawsuit.[28][29]

Moody was on the board of directors for the Rule of Law Defense Fund. In January 2021, the organization helped instigate the storming of the United States Capitol by calling on Trump supporters to march to the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, to disrupt the counting of the Electoral College ballots, which they believed to be fraudulent. After a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Moody removed any references to the Rule of Law Defense Fund from her online biography.[18]

COVID-19 pandemic

In 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Moody sued the federal government and the CDC for instituting requirements that cruiseships require 95% of cruise passengers to be fully vaccinated to sail.[30][31]

Personal life

Moody is married to Justin Duralia, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent. They have two sons together.[32] Their elder son is serving in the United States Army.

Electoral history

2006 Thirteenth Judicial Court of Florida election, Non-partisan primary[33]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
RepublicanAshley Moody 41,522 39.08% N/A
DemocraticGary Dolgin 33,675 31.70% N/A
IndependentPat Courtney31,04229.22%N/A
Majority7,8477.38%N/A
Turnout106,239
2006 Thirteenth Judicial Court of Florida election, General election[34]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
RepublicanAshley Moody 142,610 60.31% N/A
DemocraticGary Dolgin93,85439.69%N/A
Majority48,75620.62%N/A
Turnout236,464
2018 Florida Attorney General election, Republican primary[35]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
RepublicanAshley Moody 882,028 56.80% N/A
RepublicanFrank White670,82343.20%N/A
Majority211,20513.60%N/A
Turnout1,552,851
2018 Florida Attorney General election, General election[36]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
RepublicanAshley Moody 4,232,532 52.11% -2.96%
DemocraticSean Shaw3,744,91246.10%+4.09%
IndependentJeffrey Marc Siskind145,2961.79%N/A
Majority487,6206.01%-7.07%
Turnout8,122,740
Republican hold

References

  1. ^ a b March, William. “Family tradition drives Ashley Moody in attorney general’s race”. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  2. ^ a b March, William (October 12, 2018). “Ashley Moody hopes to succeed Pam Bondi as attorney general”. Miami Herald. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  3. ^ “Campus notes”. The Tampa Tribune. June 19, 1999. p. 6. Retrieved March 15, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b Fineout, Gary. “Florida’s top prosecutor once sued Trump. Now she’s fighting for his reelection”. POLITICO. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  5. ^ “Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Administrative Office of the Courts > Judicial Directory > Ashley B. Moody > Profile”. July 11, 2017. Archived from the original on July 11, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  6. ^ John Henderson (July 6, 2018). “A conversation with AG candidate Ashley Moody – News – Panama City News Herald – Panama City, FL”. Newsherald.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  7. ^ HENDERSON, JOHN. “A conversation with AG candidate Ashley Moody”. Panama City News Herald. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  8. ^ Ashley B. Moody Profile
  9. ^ “Ashley B. Moody”.
  10. ^ “Governor Scott Appoints Judge Jennifer X. Gabbard to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court | Conference of County Court Judges of Florida”.
  11. ^ “Carlton: Judge abruptly quits — and is something big to come?”. Tampa Bay Times. April 5, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  12. ^ “Former Hillsborough Judge Ashley Moody files to run for Florida Attorney General”. Tampa Bay Times. June 2, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  13. ^ “Former Hillsborough judge Ashley Moody wins Republican nomination in attorney general race”. 10NEWS. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  14. ^ “GOP candidate for Florida AG wasn’t a “lifelong Democrat”. @politifact. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  15. ^ “Ashley Moody elected Florida’s attorney general”. www.wctv.tv. Associated Press. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  16. ^ “Democratic lawmakers harangue Ashley Moody for Affordable Care Act challenge”. Florida Politics. May 6, 2020. Archived from the original on May 11, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  17. ^ “Florida Groups Fear Loss of Health Insurance Ahead Of Arguments In ACA Lawsuit”. Health News Florida. October 30, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  18. ^ a b c “Florida’s Ashley Moody worked with group linked to Capitol insurrection”. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  19. ^ Saunders, Jim. “Legalize marijuana supporters fire back at Florida AG Ashley Moody’s objections”. sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  20. ^ Saunders, Jim. “Attorney general Ashley Moody says Florida Supreme Court should decide marijuana amendment issue”. sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  21. ^ Company, Tampa Publishing. “Florida marijuana legalization dealt blow by Florida Supreme Court”. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  22. ^ “Florida court deals blow to marijuana ballot initiative”. ABC News. Archived from the original on April 22, 2021. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  23. ^ Knowles, Summer (November 1, 2018). “Amendment 4: Restores felons’ rights”. WESH. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  24. ^ Moreno, Edward (September 23, 2020). “Florida attorney general scrutinizing Bloomberg paying fines for felons to vote”. thehill. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  25. ^ Man, Anthony. “Florida joins Texas in seeking to overturn election results, in support of President Trump”. sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  26. ^ Pazniokas, Mark (December 13, 2020). “Voter fraud is real, just not on the scale claimed by Trump”. The Connecticut Mirror.
  27. ^ “News Wrap: AG Barr says no evidence of large-scale election fraud”. PBS. December 1, 2020.
  28. ^ Ogles, Jacob (December 9, 2020). “Ashley Moody files brief supporting Texas suit seeking to invalidate election results”. Florida Politics – Campaigns & Elections. Lobbying & Government. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  29. ^ Matthews, Chris (December 11, 2020). “Supreme Court declines to hear Texas case, ending Trump’s effort to overturn election”. MarketWatch. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  30. ^ “Ashley Moody defends ‘essential’ vaccine passport suit against CDC”. Florida Politics – Campaigns & Elections. Lobbying & Government. June 14, 2021. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  31. ^ Company, Tampa Publishing. “Florida fires back in Norwegian Cruise’s challenge to vaccine ‘passport’ ban”. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  32. ^ “Florida Attorney General – Attorney General Ashley Moody Bio”. www.myfloridalegal.com. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  33. ^ “Hillsborough County 2006 Primary Election” (PDF). Vote Hillsborough. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  34. ^ “Hillsborough County 2006 General Election” (PDF). Vote Hillsborough. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  35. ^ “August 28, 2018 Primary Election Republican Primary”. Florida Department of State. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  36. ^ “November 6, 2018 General Election”. Florida Department of State. Retrieved September 9, 2020.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by

Attorney General of Florida
2019–present
Incumbent