Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

LetMyPeopleVote

(148,709 posts)
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 12:19 PM Mar 2022

Breaking: Federal District Court Strikes Down Restrictive Florida Voting Rules, Imposes Requirement

Source: Election law Blog

Quite a blockbuster ruling from the federal district court. The court found that in enacting certain election laws limiting registration outreach and the use of drop boxes, Florida violated the Voting Rights Act. The court also found that Florida acted intentionally discriminating against the state’s black voters. And although the parties hardly briefed it, the Court imposed a very strong remedy of requiring that certain changes in voting rules in Florida be precleared before the court for a period of 10 years under section 3c of the Voting Rights Act.

This is a huge deal, and the district court’s analysis is probably right, but there is good reason to believe that this case could be reversed on appeal by the much more conservative 11th Circuit or the Supreme Court. Indeed, the district court seems to signal that very early in the case that the appellate courts have stopped meaningfully protecting minority voting rights:

In so ruling, this Court recognizes that the right to vote, and the VRA particularly, are under siege. See, e.g., Ark. State Conf. NAACP v. Ark. Bd. of Apportionment, No. 4:21-cv-01239-LPR, 2022 WL 496908, at *2 (E.D. Ark. Feb. 17, 2022) (dismissing a “strong merits case” that Arkansas had, to the detriment of Black voters, racially gerrymandered seats in the Arkansas House of Representatives under the theory that no private right of action is available under section 2 of the VRA); Merrill v. Milligan, 142 S. Ct. 879 (2022) (staying, without explanation, order enjoining racially gerrymandered congressional maps); Brnovich v. Democratic Nat’l Comm., 141 S. Ct. 2321, 2351 (2021) (Kagan, J., dissenting) (“Today, the Court undermines Section 2 [of the VRA] and the right it provides.”); Shelby Cnty., Ala. v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529 (2013) (gutting the VRA’s preclearance regime).

Federal courts must not lose sight of the spirit that spurred the VRA’s passage. In June 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter to the New York Amsterdam News urging Congress to pass the VRA. In it, he wrote that “to deny a person the right to exercise his political freedom at the polls is no less a dastardly act as to deny a Christian the right to petition God in prayer.” Martin Luther King Jr., Let My People Vote, The Atlantic, https://tinyurl.com/2sfx63u4 (last visited Mar. 22, 2022). Federal courts would not countenance a law denying Christians their sacred right to prayer, and they should not countenance a law denying Floridians their sacred right to vote.



Read more: https://electionlawblog.org/?p=128540

41 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Breaking: Federal District Court Strikes Down Restrictive Florida Voting Rules, Imposes Requirement (Original Post) LetMyPeopleVote Mar 2022 OP
Federal court has placed Florida under VRA pre-clearance for 10 years👇🏻 LetMyPeopleVote Mar 2022 #1
10 years? old as dirt Mar 2022 #14
THANK YOU! From a Tweet Reply! Cha Mar 2022 #23
Gee, I didn't think the Voting Rights Act was a thing anymore groundloop Mar 2022 #2
DOJ should be challenging all of these voting/election laws. gab13by13 Mar 2022 #5
Exactly. sop Mar 2022 #19
No, they're too busy prosecuting the planners of the insurrection. Dark n Stormy Knight Mar 2022 #33
K & R SunSeeker Mar 2022 #3
Next stop? bluestarone Mar 2022 #4
Yes! ShazzieB Apr 2022 #37
Calling Kristen Clarke. gab13by13 Mar 2022 #6
A huge pat on the back. . . . h2ebits Mar 2022 #7
Absolutely!!! I hope he does not burn himself out. Bev54 Mar 2022 #22
Yes!!! mountain grammy Mar 2022 #31
Now do Texas pecosbob Mar 2022 #8
+1 -K&R onetexan Mar 2022 #26
You had better believe.... SergeStorms Mar 2022 #9
No, I don't. Harker Mar 2022 #12
Gets to you..... SergeStorms Mar 2022 #15
Gets to me every day. Harker Mar 2022 #16
Has it been sent to the SCOTUS on appeal yet? 33taw Mar 2022 #10
You Can Guarantee It Will Be... GB_RN Mar 2022 #11
like there is a doubt it will, or how they will vote....... n/t getagrip_already Mar 2022 #13
Sadly, this is why I don't get all excited when lower court make these types of rulings. 33taw Mar 2022 #17
but it has to start somewhere nt RussBLib Mar 2022 #18
Sadly, tragically true. lark Apr 2022 #39
Don't get excited; it hasn't been sent to the SCOTUS on appeal yet, but RipVanWinkle Mar 2022 #20
Wow.. DeathSentence is so Cha Mar 2022 #21
Good, I hope it gnaws at him and drives him nuts and Hotler Mar 2022 #35
Florida must seek court preapproval to change some voting laws, judge rules LetMyPeopleVote Mar 2022 #24
Federal judge blocks Florida restrictive voting law. elleng Mar 2022 #25
Supremes will likely overturn qazplm135 Mar 2022 #27
this is awesome darosky Mar 2022 #28
K & R L. Coyote Mar 2022 #29
'a federal court sided with Harriett Tubman Freedom Fighters in HTFF v. Laurel Lee' elleng Mar 2022 #30
This judge is a stickler on ethics, unlike a certain JSC. Marcuse Mar 2022 #32
YAAAAAAS! BlueWavePsych Mar 2022 #34
STRUCK DOWN: DeSantis loses big in new federal court ruling LetMyPeopleVote Apr 2022 #36
I almost didn't recognize Rubio there with his little pouty face! 😁 ShazzieB Apr 2022 #38
The Little General AKA Gov DeathSentence is going to be pissed. NoMoreRepugs Apr 2022 #40
This is a good discussion of this opinion LetMyPeopleVote Apr 2022 #41
 

old as dirt

(1,972 posts)
14. 10 years?
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 01:30 PM
Mar 2022


Sung to the tune iof that childhood taunt, "Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah..."

We Are the Champions

ShazzieB

(17,212 posts)
37. Yes!
Fri Apr 1, 2022, 03:29 AM
Apr 2022

And then Georgia, especially that ridiculous law that forbids providing food or water to people waiting in line for hours to vote, which makes me crazy to think about!

h2ebits

(693 posts)
7. A huge pat on the back. . . .
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 12:50 PM
Mar 2022

To the law firm of Marc Elias; the League of Women Voters; Black Voters Matter; and Active Florida Retirees!

I am a member of the League of Women Voters and so proud to see our nationwide actions and the ongoing fight to strike down these assaults against our democracy!

SergeStorms

(19,222 posts)
9. You had better believe....
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 01:07 PM
Mar 2022

that the GQP has work-arounds in place for every possible outcome.

Right-wingers are nothing if not prepared for every eventual outcome of every situation. Even losing an election by 8 million votes isn't a certainty (at least for their rabid faithful, and from what I've seen they're around 95% rabid faithful).

As much as I loathe them, you have to admire their perseverance and preparedness.

When all else fails they revert to violence. That's their fall-back position.

Harker

(14,388 posts)
12. No, I don't.
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 01:22 PM
Mar 2022

I find their perseverance exasperating and their "preparedness" a sign of pathological derangement.

SergeStorms

(19,222 posts)
15. Gets to you.....
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 01:31 PM
Mar 2022

doesn't it.

I wish our side had everything worked out ahead of time for once.

You can bet if a Democrat had done what Donald Trump did that person would be in prison by now, or executed, or whatever.

Harker

(14,388 posts)
16. Gets to me every day.
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 01:44 PM
Mar 2022

I'm routinely caught flat-footed by their audacity, which exceeds my worsening expectations.

GB_RN

(2,620 posts)
11. You Can Guarantee It Will Be...
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 01:22 PM
Mar 2022

If Florida loses its appeal but it probably won’t. And even then, the plaintiffs will probably appeal, but given the bent of the court today, I seriously wish them GLWT.

lark

(23,504 posts)
39. Sadly, tragically true.
Fri Apr 1, 2022, 08:40 AM
Apr 2022

i was just saying to my husband that this feels wonderful but traitorous SCOTUS always sides with repugs on voting rights so our joy is likely to be short lived. I'm enjoying it for today, but know we probably won't have many days of sanity before the traitors pounce again.

RipVanWinkle

(242 posts)
20. Don't get excited; it hasn't been sent to the SCOTUS on appeal yet, but
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 02:37 PM
Mar 2022

The article states: "This is a huge deal, and the district court’s analysis is probably right, but there is good reason to believe that this case could be reversed on appeal by the much more conservative 11th Circuit or the Supreme Court. Indeed, the district court seems to signal that very early in the case that the appellate courts have stopped meaningfully protecting minority voting rights: [cases cited]."

Hotler

(11,639 posts)
35. Good, I hope it gnaws at him and drives him nuts and
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 10:15 PM
Mar 2022

keeps him awake for many nights. Suck it Ron.

LetMyPeopleVote

(148,709 posts)
24. Florida must seek court preapproval to change some voting laws, judge rules
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 03:09 PM
Mar 2022

This is a major ruling on imposing preclearance on Florida




Florida cannot change certain voting laws without getting preapproval from a federal court for the next decade, a federal judge ruled on Thursday, saying the state has an ongoing and extensive history of discrimination against non-white voters that warranted extraordinary oversight.

US district judge Mark Walker put the state back under preclearance on Thursday as part of a 288-page ruling striking down new voting restrictions in Florida limiting the availability of drop boxes, and making it more difficult for third-party groups to register voters. “Florida has repeatedly, recently, and persistently acted to deny Black Floridians access to the franchise,” he wrote in his opinion.

Placing a state under federal preclearance is an extraordinary, and rarely used, action. A provision of the Voting Rights Act allows judges to place jurisdictions under federal supervision if there is evidence of intentional discrimination. Until Thursday, courts have not placed any states back under supervision since the supreme court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v Holder.

elleng

(133,105 posts)
25. Federal judge blocks Florida restrictive voting law.
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 03:10 PM
Mar 2022

In a stinging ruling, Judge Mark Walker wrote that he agreed with the plaintiffs, who had argued the law "runs roughshod over the right to vote."

A federal judge barred Florida from enforcing the bulk of its new restrictive voting law on Thursday, siding with opponents who said the law was discriminatory and needlessly infringed on Floridians' voting rights.

The ruling, which will likely be appealed, is the first major invalidation of a spate of restrictive new election laws passed in Republican-controlled states last year, fueled by voter fraud anxieties and President Donald Trump’s stolen election lie. . .

In a stinging 288-page ruling, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark Walker declared the bulk of the state’s new voting rules unconstitutional and issued a permanent injunction barring their enforcement. . .

The judge also ordered Florida to submit to a process known as “preclearance," using Section 3(C) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a part of the law that allows courts to force jurisdictions to get pre-approval on election law changes. . .

The ruling is in many ways a hearty defense of the Voting Rights Act and a call for federal courts to firmly enforce it. Repeatedly quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., Walker's decision defends judicial branch power to police discrimination in elections, while acknowledging that other, higher courts — including the U.S. Supreme Court — have declined to do so.

“This is an opinion that full throatedly reads the Voting Rights Act in the expansive way that Congress intended it to be read, and essentially dares the higher courts to overrule it,” said Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine.'>>>

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/federal-judge-overrules-florida-restrictive-voting-law-rcna22432





qazplm135

(7,450 posts)
27. Supremes will likely overturn
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 03:56 PM
Mar 2022

I mean great job, hard work and effort, but ultimately we are going to have to have backup workarounds to these things because voting rights dies in the Supreme Court with the current makeup.

Marcuse

(7,669 posts)
32. This judge is a stickler on ethics, unlike a certain JSC.
Thu Mar 31, 2022, 06:23 PM
Mar 2022

U.S. District Chief Judge Mark E. Walker in the Northern District of Florida recused himself from a case that challenged part of an amendment giving voting rights to convicted felons.

He did it because one of the defense attorneys works at Holland & Knight, a Big Law firm where Walker’s wife, Karen D. Walker, is executive partner in the Tallahassee office.[link:https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2019/07/19/did-a-federal-judge-have-to-drop-a-case-because-his-wife-works-for-defense-firm-holland-knight/|

LetMyPeopleVote

(148,709 posts)
36. STRUCK DOWN: DeSantis loses big in new federal court ruling
Fri Apr 1, 2022, 01:52 AM
Apr 2022



Ron DeSantis has been a huge supporter of Trump’s unhinged claims of a stolen 2020 election and has supported numerous measures to carry forward the Republican Party’s anti-democratic agenda, including setting up his own election police force that will investigate claims of election fraud and that answers directly to his office.

In his ruling against Senate Bill 90, Judge Walker acknowledged that the legislation “unduly burdening disabled voters, and intentionally targeting minority voters — all to improve the electoral prospects of the party in power.”

The decision has triggered Florida Republicans, with State Senate President Wilton Simpson calling it “unbecoming of an officer of the court.”

What is actually unbecoming of anything is opportunistic and cynical lawmakers attacking our right to vote and the democratic process because of the temper tantrums of Donald Trump, a disgraced reality TV star and insurrection enthusiast, who simply can’t accept that a majority of Americans rejected his bid to be reelected as president.

ShazzieB

(17,212 posts)
38. I almost didn't recognize Rubio there with his little pouty face! 😁
Fri Apr 1, 2022, 03:37 AM
Apr 2022

And may I just say, I never realized until now just how much Rick Scott resembles a reanimated corpse. Charming. 🙄

Latest Discussions»Latest Breaking News»Breaking: Federal Distric...