Supreme Court Rules Against Felons, GOP Chalks Another Win

The GOP secured another Supreme Court Win on Thursday when the court ruled that Florida can continue with legislation that excludes ex-felons from voting if they owe court fees.

The order is currently unsigned, but it should be implemented for the election in November, even though the court never mentioned their views on it being unconstitutional.

Liberals Not Happy with Court’s Decision

No shocker, but liberal Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elan Kagan all gave a dissenting vote.

“This Court’s order prevents thousands of otherwise eligible voters from participating in Florida’s primary election simply because they are poor,” Sotomayor wrote in the dissent. “This Court’s inaction continues a trend of condoning (disenfranchisement).”

In November of 2018, over 1 million Florida felons were given back voting rights with a constitutional amendment that passed, according to CNN. Amendment 4 received 65% of the vote, which was enough to give convicted felons in the state who complete “all terms of sentence” the ability to vote.

GOP Governor Takes Strong Stance

The GOP governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, signed a bill that determined that “all terms of sentence” would include financial obligations such as fines and fees owed by the felons.

Democrats have been panicking as the 2020 presidential election looms closer and they’ve put up a tough fight to try to label the felon voting requirement as an unconstitutional “pay-to-vote system.”

Florida is considered a battleground state, which has made this whole scenario that much more controversial.

Democrats Won’t Give Up That Easy

The Well News wrote:

“Last week, lawyers for the Campaign Legal Center, the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed an emergency appeal asking the Supreme Court to intervene. They noted the court in the past had blocked last-minute judicial orders that could disrupt an election. And they noted the deadline to register to vote in Florida’s primary is July 20.”

The appeal was denied, which was followed by an outcry of agitation from the left.

“This is a deeply disappointing decision,” said a lawyer for the CLC, Paul Smith. “Florida’s voters spoke loud and clear when nearly two-thirds of them supported rights restoration at the ballot box in 2018. The Supreme Court stood by as the 11th Circuit prevented hundreds of thousands of otherwise eligible voters from participating in Florida’s primary election simply because they can’t afford to pay fines and fees.”

The Court has Ruled At Least for Now

However, Democrats are not giving up and have hope to overturn the ruling in time for the November election.

“The courts have repeatedly ruled the Florida law is unconstitutional,” she said. “We are hopeful that the appellate court will uphold the trial court’s decision, protecting the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of Floridians in time for the November election,” An ACLU attorney, Julie Ebenstein said. 

For now, it appears that the Supreme Court once again ruled on the side of the GOP; however, the will of the Democrats cannot be ruled out just yet.

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