Monday Open Thread | Civil rights groups sue Florida over ‘poll tax’ law to restore felon voter rights

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.”

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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75 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Civil rights groups sue Florida over ‘poll tax’ law to restore felon voter rights

  1. rikyrah says:

    Emma Best 🏳️‍🌈🏴 (@NatSecGeek) Tweeted:
    FBI claims to have lost the file on the neo-nazi group Stormfront.

    Sure, Jan.

  2. rikyrah says:


    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

  3. rikyrah says:

    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.

  4. rikyrah says:


    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”).

  5. rikyrah says:

    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?

  6. rikyrah says:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a response to a previous item about the uncovering of racist, sexist abuse in a Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents. The congresswoman was specifically targeted for sexist mocking in images shared among the group.

    “How on earth can CBP’s culture be trusted to care for refugees humanely?” Ocasio-Cortez wondered, noting that the group membership size was nearly half the current population of agents employed. “This isn’t about ‘a few bad eggs.’ This is a violent culture,” she said.

    9,500 people?

  7. Allergies kicking my behind today. I’ve been sneezing all morning. Horrible! 😕

  8. rikyrah says:

    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.”— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) July 1, 2019

  9. rikyrah says:

    Anyone surprised?

    Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, according to screenshots of their postings.

  10. Ametia says:

    Word of the Day : July 1, 2019

    Afflatus: noun uh-FLAY-tus

    Definition: a divine imparting of knowledge or power : inspiration

  11. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Rikryah & 3 Chics Family!

    Another week, another day of tomfoolery, chicanery, and shenanigans!

  12. rikyrah says:

    Happy Bobby Bonilla Day! :)

    For those who are unaware, the background of one of the best contracts ever written for an athlete:

    For agent who brokered Bobby Bonilla Day, ‘I’m just happy that he’s happy’
    Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Published 2:40 p.m. ET July 1, 2018

    Dennis Gilbert woke up Sunday morning at his Beverly Hills home, listened to the congratulatory message, and laughed.

    Yes, he remembered the significance of this day.

    How could he ever forget July 1?

    It’s Bobby Bonilla Day.

    It’s the day that Bonilla will be paid $1.193 million by the New York Mets.

    Well, $1,193,248.20 to be exact.

    Yes, to the 55-year-old man who hasn’t played a game since 2001.

    To a man who will be paid almost as much as the $1.227 million the Yankees are paying to their best player and best pitcher – Aaron Judge and Luis Severino.

    To a man that will be paid most likely after Judge and Severino have retired, with payments due through 2035.


    The deal was consummated when the Mets chose to pay Bonilla $29.8 million in deferred payments, starting in 2011, instead of the $5.9 million they owed him in 2000. The Mets needed to free up some cash, and figured that it would be cheaper providing Bonilla 25 payments at 8% interest than paying the last year of his original five-year, $29 million contract.

    “It was questioned from the inception,’’ Gilbert said, “because people wondered whether getting 8% interest was a good deal. At the time, we were having double-digit inflation, and people were thinking, “Geez, could he have made more money investing in other things?’

    “Bobby needed to understand how it worked, too, and Bobby is very conservative guy. He wanted to make sure he had money for the future. He was concerned about taking care of his family. But when you look at it now, 8% is not a very conservative number, especially guaranteed.

    “It’s funny, I’ve done more than 1,000 contracts in my lifetime, including the ones for Barry Bonds with all of his incentives, but this one is always talked about the most.’

  13. rikyrah says:

    lips so pursed.

    Black Patient Arrested After Security Guard Accuses Him of Attempting to Steal an IV and Sell It on eBay

    Anne Branigin
    Yesterday 1:00pm

    A video of a black Freeport, Ill., patient being arrested while taking a walk outside a hospital has gone viral after he shared the incident on Facebook.

    The video shows Shaquille Dukes, 24, walking outside FHN Memorial Hospital on June 9, wearing a hospital gown and attached to an IV. According to Dukes, who had been hospitalized with pneumonia for two days, he was cleared by a doctor to walk outside the building—just as long as he didn’t leave the property.

    But as the Journal-Standard reports, while Dukes and two companions were making their way back to the building, they were stopped a security guard who called them over to his car, taking them off hospital property. The guard then accused them of attempting to steal the equipment, Dukes wrote on Facebook.

    “[The guard] had gotten out of his vehicle and said, ‘What are you going to do, steal that and sell it on eBay?’” Dukes told the Journal-Standard. “I told him, ‘This machine is pumping fluid into my veins as we speak.’”

    Detached from his IV and without his rescue inhaler—which Dukes says was taken by the police—he passed out shortly after being arrested.

    Because their investigation showed what was pretty damn obvious at first blush that Dukes was a patient, and not trying to engineer some elaborate caper to steal one single IV—Dukes wasn’t charged with attempted theft. But he was charged with disorderly conduct, according to Freeport Police Lt. Andrew Schroeder.

  14. Liza says:

    Hmmm. Why him? How many deserving people got passed over?

  15. @rikyrah @ametia

    He sho ain’t gonna be the nominee. He has a Black people problem.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Harris v. Biden: Kamala Won Round One, But No One Should Count Joe Out
    By Spandan Chakrabarti

    Almost six months ago, when I was looking at the Democratic primary field shape up, I was hoping that either Kamala Harris or Joe Biden ran for president, but not both. I admit that was more of a selfish wish than anything else, as the I’d always believed I would personally have a rough time deciding between the two.

    Kamala Harris is my senator, and before she replaced the legendary Barbara Boxer in the Senate, she served six years as California’s attorney general. Before shaping the most critical Department of Justice that is now standing up to the Trump DOJ, Harris was the District Attorney of San Francisco, and even though I do not live in the city of San Francisco, I do live in the Bay Area and got to watch her career closely. During the 2008 Democratic primaries, Harris was perhaps the most effective advocate for the then-candidate Barack Obama among California Democrats.

    The one thing all of us who have watched Sen. Harris for over a decade as well as those who have only got a taste of her as she embarrassed Trump appointee after Trump appointee in senate hearings know is that she is the consummate prosecutor. She prepares her case to be as airtight as can be, she makes her case as effectively as humanly possible, and she is a master at delivering the punchline for her theory of the case. That is what everyone watching in riveting silence saw on debate night last week.

    While Kamala Harris’s star is on a fast rise, it would not at all be a exaggeration to say that Joe Biden is a towering figure of American politics in the league of Ted Kennedy, Paul Wellstone, and John McCain.

    One of the youngest senators ever elected, Joe Biden is nearly omnipresent in every progressive advancement since his first election to the US Senate in 1972. Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act, was instrumental in the reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act, and was a critical voice as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in turning back the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Perhaps no one in present day American politics has done more than Joe Biden to shape the modern-day international order that Donald Trump is doing his best to destroy. Biden’s contributions to nuclear arms control, to transatlantic and transpacific alliances, and to pro-democracy global forces are undeniable.

    Joe Biden was not merely a loyal Vice President to President Obama, but as one of the most active vice presidents in history, he was a force to be reckoned with on his own. He was instrumental in overseeing the Recovery Act that began to save America from the second most horrific economic catastrophe in history. He guided the Affordable Care Act through Congress along with Speaker Pelosi. He led his president – the first sitting president ever to do so – to support marriage equality, and he shaped cancer research moonshot with Congress even as a so-called “lame duck” vice president.

    Throughout it all, Joe Biden has suffered unimaginable personal tragedies, and the grace with which he has faced them alone foretells temperament, compassion, and servitude America would be fortunate to have in our president.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Didn’t know….

    Lil Nas X Confirms He’s Gay: ‘Deadass Thought I Made It Obvious’

    Anne Branigin

    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.

    some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure. 🌈🤩✨

    — nope (@LilNasX) June 30, 2019

  18. rikyrah says:

    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

  19. rikyrah says:

    They killed another one 😠😠😠

  20. rikyrah says:


    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.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Don’t fall for the banana in the tailpipe 😒😒

  22. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

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