Republicans in 2023 are on a campaign to emulate what occurred during Reconstruction by disenfranchising African Americans, engaging in severe gerrymandering so that the odds are turn in their favor in 2024. Their harsh and uncompromising position on abortion is costing them support and has led to losses in primaries. But the GOP’s political strategy is explained by former President Donald Trump, who has said the quiet part out loud: Republicans will never again win elections if democratic reforms make voting easier.
A state appeals court has rejected a legal attempt to save a Black-opportunity congressional district in North Florida, relying on legal reasoning never raised by the parties to the case: That the district originally was devised to benefit Democrats, not Blacks specifically.
The Flagler County Elections Team on Wednesday hosted seven county Supervisors of Elections and their staff for the last quarterly Florida Supervisors of Election District 5 Meeting of the year. A total of 24 people attended the meeting at the supervisor’s office at the Government Services Building in Bunnell.
Plaintiffs allege that the way state and local officials have carried out Amendment 4, designed to restore voting rights for felons who have completed their sentences, violated the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act. Attorneys for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and four individual plaintiffs filed a 61-page court document opposing a request by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, county clerks of court and elections supervisors to dismiss the lawsuit.
A federal appeals court in Arkansas ruled on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, that only the federal government – not private citizens or civil rights groups – could sue to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court – but if it stands, it could gut individual people’s and civil rights groups’ legal right to fight racial discrimination in voting.
DeSantis and the malleable Florida Legislature have cracked down on political protest, asylum seekers, the LGBTQ community, and women and trans men who might need abortions, among others. In elections litigation alone, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition sued the state in federal court in Miami alleging the state has erected barriers to felons hoping to regain their voting rights under 2018’s Amendment 4, which the organization sponsored.
Circuit Judge J. Lee Marsh ruled that a congressional redistricting plan pushed through the Legislature by Gov. Ron DeSantis violated the Florida Constitution and needs to be redrawn. The judge sided with voting-rights groups in a lawsuit focused on a North Florida district that in the past elected Black Democrat Al Lawson but was dramatically revamped during the 2022 redistricting process. White Republicans won all North Florida congressional districts in the November elections.
One of those parts requires representatives of voter-registration groups to provide receipts to people who sign up to vote. The other part prevents people with certain felony convictions from “collecting or handling” voter-registration applications.
Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, in a 58-page decision, issued a preliminary injunction against parts of the law that would prevent non-U.S. citizens from “collecting or handling” voter-registration applications and make it a felony for voter-registration group workers to keep personal information of voters.
In a major election-law decision, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that although the Constitution gives state legislatures the power to regulate federal elections, state courts can supervise the legislature’s exercise of that power. By a vote of 6-3, the court rejected the so-called “independent state legislature theory” favored by a extreme Republicans.