Big Voting Rights Win In Florida

Voting rights activists got another victory, this time in Florida, where a federal judge said he would permanently remove harsh restrictions on third-party voter registration groups. Those restrictions, passed as part of a massive electoral overhaul and spearheaded by Gov. Rick Scott (R) had hamstrung non-partisan groups like the League of Women Voters from registering voters leading up to the November election.

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle said he would grant a motion to permanently remove the restrictions as soon as he receives confirmation that a federal appellate court had dismissed the case.

In December the League of Women Voters of Florida, Rock the Vote, and the Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund sued to block the restrictions. The Department of Justice also opposed the restrictions and had filed their own lawsuit challenging them. “Florida’s anti-voter law created impassable roadblocks for our volunteers, who have been bringing fellow Floridians into our democratic process for over 72 years,” said Deirdre Macnab, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “Thanks to today’s ruling, we can finally put these roadblocks behind us and concentrate on getting Floridians registered to vote. We are grateful the court recognized that the Constitution does not tolerate these types of barriers to civic participation and voter registration.”

The non-partisan Brennan Center issued a press release applauding the decision.“This order is a decisive victory for Florida voters,” said Lee Rowland, counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, one of the attorneys who argued the case for the Plaintiffs. “The Florida legislature has tried repeatedly to stifle access to voter registration opportunities, and once again a federal court has stopped them in their tracks. We are thrilled that voter registration groups can now get back to what they do best — expanding our democracy.”

Rarely these days are the federal courts seen as a safe harbor for individuals aggrieved by state action, but recently in the context of voting rights, they have been. This is a big win for any citizen that believes elected officials should be forced to conduct their affairs in a fair and transparent fashion, especially when it comes to restricting essential civic rights like voting.

Related Stories:

Voting Rights Crisis Unfolding In Florida

Florida Voting Restrictions May Be Intentionally Discriminatory

DOJ Tells Florida To Cease Voter Purger

Photo from JasonLagiene via flickr.


Tene Bane
Tene Bane4 years ago

reportedly hispanics, blacks(because blacks are more likely to be poor), and the poor more likely vote democrat, because some republicans are pro-kill the poor and immigrants, pro-close the boarder, and anti-welfare. some democrats are more tolerant of immigrants and give some welfare.

some republicans think if they close the boarders, kill and arrest poor and immigrants, and supress poor and immigrant voters by putting in voter id and discriminatory qualifications, then there wont be poor or immigrants to vote democrat.

put in a new consitutional amendement that says: everyone in the country must be allowed to vote, includeing prisoners and babys. no voteing restrictions allowed.

no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the united states. article XIV

voter id law, and similar voter suppression tactics, abridge the privileges of citizens of the united states by disallowing many of them, especially the poor, to vote, because many of them are unable to or cant afford to get a voter id. plus it abridges the privilege of citizens of the united states to not have to pay and jump thru hoops in order to vote.

voter id law is unconstitutional.

tell voter supressors to stop the much bigger problem: politican fraud, instead of supressing voters.

Janet C.
Janet C5 years ago

Great news!

Now, the next step is to change our present system of the electorial college to a far more accurate tally of individual citizen's voting choices by a one person-one vote system...then the final totals would determine the presidential choice of the "people", not some obscure electorial college numbers outcome.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

GOOD. It has made me physically ill, the redistricting and voter suppression laws that have been passed in so many Republican governor states (mine -- TX -- included), because nothing is more important to our democracy than one man/one vote.

Ken W.
Ken W5 years ago


J.L. A.
j A5 years ago

Seems that the major suppression efforts in three key states have now been struck down --where besides PA are we awaiting court action? Seems like time for a status scoreboard...

Arild Warud

Great news.

Michael G.
Michael T5 years ago

Yeah I don't get cable HBO so I only get to see YouTube clips. It sounds like a great program and I am happy as heck it is playing now before the election as it will reach some more people who might have been on the fence and maybe even convert some conservatives too.

Jenny S.
Jenny Sejansky5 years ago

I've been meaning to watch Newsroom. I hear it's great- now I have some proof. Thanks!

Amy R.
Amy R5 years ago

Now PA, OH, MI....

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

(I LOVE "Newsroom!") This is good news!