Legal Center Joins Voting Rights Litigation in South Carolina & Florida
This week, the Campaign Legal Center joined the efforts underway in two cases fighting to protect the right to vote. Legal Center attorneys are now participating in a challenge to Florida’s voter purge efforts and in an effort to keep a voter ID law in South Carolina, which the Justice Department found did not meet Voting Rights Act requirements, from going into effect.
“The right to vote is a fundamental right. Both of these cases are about protecting the right of every American to cast a ballot and choose the individuals who will represent them in government,” said J. Gerald Hebert, Legal Center Executive Director. “In both cases we are seeing state government actions that would disenfranchise minority voters at vastly disproportionate rates.”
Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert will serve as co-counsel to several groups challenging Florida’s attempts to purge voters off its rolls. Florida announced that it had prepared a purge list of 182,000 people allegedly ineligible to vote. The State urged local supervisors of elections to remove voters whose names appeared on the list, despite federal law prohibiting systematic voter registration purges within 90 days of an election. When it was discovered that the list was hopelessly flawed, Florida backpedaled and admitted that the list is riddled with errors and should not be used. The Legal Center and its clients have filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida, styled Arcia v. Detzner, to restore the rights of eligible voters wrongfully purged by Florida’s flawed list and to prevent a second purge attempt by the State in advance of the fall Election.
The Legal Center’s attorneys will also participate in South Carolina v. United States. South Carolina is seeking approval of its voter ID law, which the Department of Justice has concluded fails to meet the requirements of the Voting Rights Act. The Legal Center will serve as co-counsel with the ACLU for a group of Intervenors whose voting rights will be denied if the voter ID law is allowed to take effect. The South Carolina case goes to trial before a three judge court in Washington, DC, on August 27.