Former felons in Florida must pay fines before voting, must follow court rules


“This decision is based on the fundamental principle that Americans do not need to vote,” said Julie Ebenstein, a senior staff attorney for ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “The seriousness of this decision cannot be understated. It is compatible with the spirit of democracy. “

Civil rights groups representing the goons vow to keep fighting and may appeal to the Supreme Court. But the court has already placed parties in the Florida State case, rejecting an emergency application to remove the appeal court’s stay while the result was pending.

Fred Piccolo, a spokesman for Mr. DeSantis, said in a statement that Friday’s decision underscored that Amendment 4, as the referendum was known, would restore the right to fines only if they made sentences, including court fines and paying fees. Has completed completeness. . (At the time Amendment 4 was passed, Florida was one of three states that prevented people from voting with felony records.)

“All the words in a sentence mean all the terms,” ​​Mr. Piccolo said. “There are many avenues to restore rights, pay debts and seek financial forgiveness from victims. Second chance and rule of law are not mutually exclusive. “

The four judges broke up into a pair with long and sharp opinions. Judge Adalberto Jordan, who was appointed to the appeals court by President Barack Obama, said, “I doubt that today’s decision – which blesses Florida’s nuring of Amendment 4 – will be viewed with kindness in history.”

The Dissentes administration has argued that voters knew that the goons would have to pay their outstanding debts before they were eligible to vote. The state has no centralized system to tell the goons how much debt they can afford, and the appeals court said that the states did not need to provide a process for the goons to know if they were eligible. .

According to the coalition’s political director, Neil G. Volz, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which organized the Amendment 4 campaign, has helped return more than $ 4,000.