On February 19, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled to affirm the preliminary injunction against the state of Florida for attempting to punish those that cannot afford to pay their legal financial obligations (LFO) by withholding their right to vote. Florida voters approved Amendment 4 in 2018 to restore voting rights to over 1.4 million people.
Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, released the following statement:
“Today’s ruling is a major win for democracy. The courts have told Ron DeSantis and the GOP loudly and clearly that requiring payment to vote is unconstitutional. It is time for the Florida Legislature to repeal the DeSantis Poll Tax, now!”
From the 11th Circuit Opinion:
“Because the LFO requirement punishes those who cannot pay more harshly than those who can — and does so by continuing to deny them access to the ballot box — Supreme Court precedent leads us to apply heightened scrutiny in asking whether the requirement violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as applied to these plaintiffs. When measured against this standard, we hold that it does and affirm the preliminary injunction entered by the district court.”