The Supreme Court has delivered a slew of important rulings over the last several weeks and continued the trend on Thursday by allowing a contested voter rights rule in Florida stand.
The high court ruled on Thursday that a lower court ruling that allows Florida to prevent up to 1 million Florida felons who have completed their sentences but haven’t paid outstanding fines or fees from registering to vote.
The Hill reported:
In an unsigned opinion, the conservative-majority court declined to revisit a federal appeals court ruling that permits Florida to stop felons with outstanding court-imposed debt from registering to vote as a July 20 primary election registration deadline approaches.
Of course, the three most liberal justices of the court — Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan –dissented, complaining that “Under this scheme, nearly a million otherwise-eligible citizens cannot vote unless they pay money,” characterizing the rule as a “voter paywall.”
Challengers asked the Supreme Court to revisit an earlier appellate court ruling allowing a 2018 amendment to the state’s constitution to stand. The amendment stipulates that felons could only register to vote if they had completed “all terms” of their sentence.
Democrats wanted the Court to strike down the lower court’s ruling ahead of the state’s July 20th primary election registration deadline in order to access thousands of potential Democrat votes.
Liberal advocates complained that Florida voted to allow felons to vote in 2018 and that refusing to allow them to register without paying their fines first was a violation of the will of the people. They conveniently ignore the fact that the rule blocking felons from voting until they fulfilled their legal financial obligations was a part of that 2018 vote and therefore “the will of the people.”
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