The Florida law enacting Amendment 4 “unconstitutionally punishes a class of felons based only on their wealth,” the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a unanimous decision. But it applies only to 17 felons named in the suit for now.
The fight is rooted in the wording of the 2018 constitutional amendment, which restored voting rights to felons “who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation,” excluding people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”
With Citizens United, the Supreme Court essentially married the terrible idea that “money is speech” to the terrible idea that “corporations are people.” There’s a way out.
Flagler County Commissioner Joe Mullins followed his call on liberals to love Flagler County or leave with suggestions of putting them on trains and buses, which brings to mind a different period of history, Christopher Goodfellow points out in an open letter to the commissioner.
In the past year, six states implemented measures restoring voting rights to people with felony convictions, including Florida, though Florida alone raised new obstacles: the payment of fines and restitution before rights may be restored.
A federal judge on Tuesday excoriated lawyers representing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, accusing the state of trying to “run out the clock” to keep felons from voting in next year’s elections.
Republicans are less likely to win elections when voter turnout is high. So GOP lawmakers have been doing all they can to restrict or roll back voting rights.
Florida Supreme Court justices appeared convinced Wednesday that a constitutional amendment, overwhelmingly approved during the November 2018 election, requires payment of restitution, fees and other legal costs for felons to have their voting rights restored.
The federal court ruling was only a partial victory for voting-rights and civil-rights groups that challenged the constitutionality of a new state law designed to carry out a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to felons who have served their sentence.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle made the comments as he finished a two-day hearing in a challenge to the law, which was passed along partisan lines by the Republican-dominated Legislature this spring and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.