Judge Strikes Down Florida's Felon Voter Restoration System

By Nathan Hale (February 1, 2018, 11:35 PM EST) -- A federal judge on Thursday struck down Florida's process for deciding whether to restore ex-felons' voting rights, saying it violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments because the governor's unfettered discretion creates serious risk of arbitrary decisions or "viewpoint discrimination," whether along racial, religious or partisan lines.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in the Northern District of Florida — issued on dueling motions for summary judgment as a pure question of law — does not strike down the state's felon disenfranchisement laws, which he said the Constitution allows states as an "affirmative sanction." But a proposed state constitutional amendment...

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