Suppressive Voting Laws Take Hit, Federal Judge Blocks Florida Law
A federal judge blocked enforcement of key provisions of a restrictive voting law in Florida today, a breakthrough victory for Florida voters and voting rights advocates nationwide. The law, H.B. 1355, included onerous restrictions on community-based voter registration drives, forcing the League of Women Voters of Florida and other groups to shut down their drives. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle found that the Constitution and federal law prohibit most of Florida’s recently-passed restrictions, and highlighted the law’s impact on the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.
“Together speech and voting are constitutional rights of special significance; they are the rights most protective of all others, joined in this respect by the ability to vindicate one’s rights in a federal court. … [W]hen a plaintiff loses an opportunity to register a voter, the opportunity is gone forever,” U.S. Judge Robert L. Hinkle wrote in his opinion blocking most of the Florida law.