(RightWing.org) – Florida recently joined the growing number of states enacting laws to protect future elections. However, a federal judge for Florida’s Northern District recently blocked portions of the state’s new election integrity law requirements.
The court consolidated four cases brought against the Florida Secretary of State by the League of Women Voters, Black Voters Matters Fund, Florida’s Retired Americans Alliance, and individual voters. The plaintiffs’ claimed State Bill 90 (SB90) violated Florida voters’ 1st and 14th Amendment rights.
On March 31, US District Judge Mark E. Walker issued a sweeping 288-page decision. Walker held that the state legislature has “repeatedly, recently, and persistently” attempted to deny voting rights to Black Floridians. Addressing SB90, Walker wrote that lawmakers designed portions of the law “to discriminate against Black voters.”
Judge Walker ordered Florida officials to obtain pre-approval from the court for a period of 10-years for new voting measures. He also blocked portions of the law aimed at
- Limiting the availability of drop boxes for mail-in ballots
- Placing requirements on third-party groups registering voters
- Banning individuals from providing food and water to people waiting in line to vote
Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to appeal Walker’s decision to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Some legal experts predict the appeals court could overturn the ruling.
Additionally, Politico reported that University of California law professor Richard Hasen said even if the 11th Circuit agreed with Walker’s legal conclusions, it would likely strike down his ruling’s preclearance stipulation.
The impact of this case on others working through the system hinges on its eventual outcome in the higher courts.
Do you think the courts should restrict states’ rights to enact laws protecting election integrity?
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