Appeals Court Rules on Florida Felon Voting Rights

Upholds law requiring legal fees to be paid first.

In 2018, a referendum in the state of Florida passed allowing convicted felons who had completed their sentences the right to vote, provided that they pay all legal fees. The constitutionality of the condition has been challenged in court for months.

Last Friday, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the law. The majority opinion, written by Chief Judge William Pryor, stated, “States are constitutionally entitled to set legitimate voter qualifications through laws of general application and to require voters to comply with those laws through their own efforts… So long as a state provides adequate procedures to challenge individual determinations of ineligibility — as Florida does — due process requires nothing more.”

The Florida amendment still bars felons charged with severe crimes, such as rape and murder, from voting regardless of fee payment. The ruling was 200 pages and was made in a 6-4 vote. The four judges who were opposed issued a dissent along with the ruling, saying that the state should provide a mechanism that discloses the exact financial obligations.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For circuit court judges as they parse through appropriate applications of state and federal constitutions.
  • For the U.S. Department of Justice as they uphold and fulfill U.S. laws.
  • That President Trump would continue to work on prison reforms.

Sources: AP, Fox News


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