A group of civil rights organizations filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida Friday after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would require felons to pay court-ordered financial obligations if they want their voting rights restored.
Florida’s new law, SB7066, violates the prohibition against poll taxes enshrined in the 24th Amendment, claims a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida, the Brennan Center for Justice and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
The suit filed on behalf of 10 Floridians also claims the law was at least partly motivated by a racially discriminatory purpose in violation of the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship to people born or naturalized in the United States, and the 15th Amendment that prohibits the government from denying a citizen the right to vote based on race or color or previous servitude.
“This disenfranchisement will be borne disproportionately by low-income individuals and racial minorities, due to longstanding and well-documented racial gaps in poverty and employment,” the lawsuit states.
An estimated 1.4 million Floridians with felony records had their voting rights restored in January after 64.5 percent of state residents voted last year to approve an amendment to Florida’s constitution. The ballot initiative restored voting rights to residents with felony convictions who have completed their sentences, with the exception of those convicted of murder or a sexual offense.
But DeSantis began to undermine the voter-approved amendment in December just after he was elected.
DeSantis, then governor-elect, told The Palm Beach Post in an interview that the initiative shouldn’t be rolled out until “implementing language” is approved by the legislature and signed by him.
“They’re going to be able to do that in March,” DeSantis told the Post, referring to the 60-day legislative session beginning on March 5. “There’s no way you can go through this session without implementing it.”
The state’s Republican-controlled legislature did in fact introduce a bill to curb felon voting rights in March, a bill that passed both chambers and was signed by DeSantis on Friday.
And while court fees vary per individual, even the smallest amounts can prove difficult for the formerly incarcerated. A Harvard University researcher found that the median annual income was only about $6,500 for those newly out of prison.
Civil rights groups have argued that forcing felons emerging from the criminal justice system to pay debilitating penalties is unconstitutional and equates simply to a poll tax.
“There can be no mistaking the racial and class implications of this regressive new legislation,” said Myrna Pérez, director of the Brennan Center’s Voting Rights and Elections Program. “Florida legislators are trying to do an end run around the unmistakable message that Florida voters delivered at the ballot box in November.”
Emma Best 🏳️🌈🏴 (@NatSecGeek) Tweeted:
FBI claims to have lost the file on the neo-nazi group Stormfront.
Sure, Jan. https://t.co/x2CqUEd1Bb https://twitter.com/NatSecGeek/status/1145647438059003904?s=17
Stephanie. (@qsteph) Tweeted:
I am a media professional in the United States and we are reckoning with access journalism. I ask this in good faith: Do you not see how many view the skewed and often negative narratives around the Sussexes as an attempt to bully them into positive coverage? @chrisshipitv https://twitter.com/qsteph/status/1145686136720936960?s=17
blessed with stamina ➒ (@dilemmv) Tweeted:
Twitter is not real life.
This woman created a Hate Crimes Divison for LGBT people
This woman was marrying people in 2004
This woman invalidated the gay-trans panic defense in California as AG
This woman refused to defend Prop 8 which lead to SCOTUS decision.
#SheIsntTransphobic https://t.co/JnN7VeNkgx https://twitter.com/dilemmv/status/1145496771348652033?s=17
chart data (@chartdata) Tweeted:
.@LilNasX’s “Old Town Road” is now the longest running Hot 100 #1 hip-hop single of all time (13 weeks; passing “Lose Yourself”, “Boom Boom Pow” and “See You Again”). https://twitter.com/chartdata/status/1145709896865730561?s=17
chris evans (@notcapnamerica) Tweeted:
Wait now the white liberals are saying Kamala and Cory are “starting a race war” in the Democratic Party?
Y’all do know you’re NOT entitled to our votes, right? https://twitter.com/notcapnamerica/status/1145697462780223490?s=17
Allergies kicking my behind today. I’ve been sneezing all morning. Horrible! 😕
Same here, SG2. Just miserable.
NEW: Trump’s House allies are planning an all-out attack on Mueller during his July 17 hearing. @replouiegohmert, who infamously asked Pete Strzok about his wife last year, said the Mueller report “reinforced the anal opening that I believe Mueller to be.”https://t.co/F4WEkoIA9X— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) July 1, 2019
Not surprised but, quite frankly, it scares me.
Demons walking among us…..
Word of the Day : July 1, 2019
Afflatus: noun uh-FLAY-tus
Definition: a divine imparting of knowledge or power : inspiration
Good Morning, Rikryah & 3 Chics Family!
Another week, another day of tomfoolery, chicanery, and shenanigans!
Happy Bobby Bonilla Day! :)
For those who are unaware, the background of one of the best contracts ever written for an athlete:
SUSAN RICE, Y’ALL
lips so pursed.
Black Patient Arrested After Security Guard Accuses Him of Attempting to Steal an IV and Sell It on eBay
Hmmm. Why him? How many deserving people got passed over?
He sho ain’t gonna be the nominee. He has a Black people problem.
Harris v. Biden: Kamala Won Round One, But No One Should Count Joe Out
By Spandan Chakrabarti
Lil Nas X Confirms He’s Gay: ‘Deadass Thought I Made It Obvious’
On the final day of Pride Month—and fresh from wrapping up a set at the Glastonbury music festival in the U.K. this weekend—rapper Lil Nas X officially came out as gay.
He made the announcement in signature fashion—which is to say, on Twitter—by asking followers to take a closer listen to “C7osure,” the final song of his recently released EP.
Nothing but truth 👏👏
Kurt Nice (@KurtNiceHHL) Tweeted:
Republicans only pretend to have standards when they’re judging Democrats.
Other than that,
you can be a Putin sucking, N. Korea loving, baby-caging, woman raping, lying, traitor who can’t properly form a sentence or read the Constitution just as long as…
tax cuts 4 rich fux https://twitter.com/KurtNiceHHL/status/1145488332199215105?s=17
Uh huh 😒
They killed another one 😠😠😠
Mangy Jay (@magi_jay) Tweeted:
“We’re NEVER TRUMP. We HATE TRUMP b/c he tortures children but really can the Democrats be less nice to these same children? Otherwise we will never vote for Democrats Also Elizabeth Warren Kamala Harris women so angry something something. women women. I’m uncomfortable. women.” https://twitter.com/magi_jay/status/1145530386421878785?s=17
BWA HA HA HA HA I’ll accept that bad boy. It’s called Neighborhood security.
Pitiful 😠 😠
Don’t fall for the banana in the tailpipe 😒😒
Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄