Groups ask court to block ex-felon voting law in Florida

Advocacy groups are asking a Florida court to block a state law requiring people convicted of felonies to pay legal and financial fees and costs before voting.

Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Brennan Center for Justice filed a motion on Friday requesting a preliminary injunction to halt the law’s implementation pending their case against it.

The organizations, representing a group of Florida resident citizens who had completed incarceration, probation or parole associated with their felony sentences, contend that the law, Senate Bill 7066, “unconstitutionally” denies the right to vote to people with remaining legal financial obligations.

Florida voters last year passed a constitutional amendment, Amendment 4, restoring voting rights to most people with felony convictions. After this, the state’s Republican-led legislature passed the law requiring the payment and it was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGroups ask court to block ex-felon voting law in Florida GOP Florida governor enlists new officer to prepare state for rising sea level Florida study touts higher turnout from on-campus voting amid court fight MORE (R).

“We have been saying that this law has sought to remove people’s eligibility to vote and participate in our democracy,” ACLU of Florida legal director Daniel Tilley said in a statement.

The groups in June sued the state over the law. On Friday, the state filed motions to dismiss the suit, saying in a court motion that Amendment 4 did not define what it means to complete one’s sentence, while S.B. 7066 did.

The Hill has reached out to DeSantis’s office for comment.

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