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Appeals Court Rules Against Payment of Fines and Fees for Voting Rights Restoration

February 19th, 2020 by Jake Stofan

17 Florida felons cannot be blocked from voting for being too poor to pay their fines and fees.

That’s the ruling a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals made Wednesday, upholding a preliminary injunction made by a Federal Judge last year.

However, Representative James Grant, who sponsored the original legislation requiring fines and fees be paid before felons’ voting rights can be restored under Amendment 4 said the ruling does little to inspire the Legislature to act.

“When the Florida Supreme Court pretty strongly and clearly validated my approach I didn’t spike the football. That’s just part of this journey and I think at the end of the day we’re going to watch this litigation play out. Fundamental here at issue is whether or not probation as listed in the amendment’s text itself is a poll tax as some are alleging and if that’s the case Amendment 4 itself is in jeopardy. I certainly hope Amendment 4 doesn’t get thrown out by the people who are putting it at risk, but that’s where we are,” said Grant.

The Governor has said he’ll appeal the ruling to the full 11th Circuit.

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