A Controversial Florida Law Stops Some Former Felons From Voting. A Judge Just Blocked Part of It.
The law was enacted in June, and has faced criticism in the months since from civil rights groups who argue that it undermines the will of Floridians. Soon after the measure passed, several civil rights groups including Campaign Legal Center, filed lawsuits challenging it. The third lawsuit comes from the Campaign Legal Center, which is suing on the behalf of Bonnie Raysor, a 58-year-old white mother of four convicted on felony drug-related charges in 2010. Raysor was released from prison in 2011, but it will take her until 2031 to pay off the roughly $4,300 she has in court fines and fees. Her lawyers argue that it is unfair — and unconstitutional — for her and other low-income Floridians to be denied the vote until then. “The argument is actually pretty straightforward, and it’s taught in seventh-grade civics,” Danielle Lang, the co-director of the Campaign Legal Center’s voting rights and redistricting program, told CBS News in June. “We can’t have a poll tax.” Like the suit brought by the ACLU and other groups, Raysor’s suit argues that the Florida law violates the 14th and 24th Amendments.
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