Amendment 4

Miami Herald file

TALLAHASSEE --- Plaintiffs in a Florida voting-rights case have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate an appeals-court decision that would prevent hundreds of thousands of felons from registering and voting in next month’s primary elections and could keep them from casting ballots in November.

Felons Voting Arguments Slated In August

Jul 9, 2020
Daniel Rivero / WLRN

A federal appeals court has scheduled oral arguments in a Florida voting-rights case that could open the door for hundreds of thousands of felons to cast ballots in this year’s elections.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is slated to hear the case on Aug. 18, the same day as Florida's primary elections, according to an order posted on the court’s website this week.

The Future of Amendment 4 Moves to Appeals Court

Jul 3, 2020
RENATA SAGO / WMFE

This weekend, Americans celebrate the country’s birthday—and the rights and freedoms many of us often take for granted—including the right to vote. As of this week, the future of Amendment 4 in Florida is uncertain.

The constitutional amendment passed in 2018, and made it so that most people with felony convictions “automatically” regain the right to vote once they complete “all the terms of their sentence including parole or probation.” But it’s been the center of a legal battle for more than a year.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

In a win for Gov. Ron DeSantis, a federal appeals court on Wednesday agreed to the state’s request for a rare full-court initial review of a voting rights ruling that could open the door for hundreds of thousands of Florida felons to participate in this year’s elections.

Chris Day / Fresh Take Florida

TALLAHASSEE --- Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking a federal appeals court to put on hold a ruling that would pave the way for hundreds of thousands of Floridians who have been convicted of felonies to register and vote in November, arguing the decision could “corrupt” the integrity of the state’s elections.

Columbia City Blog /Flickr

TALLAHASSEE --- A federal judge on Sunday refused to put on hold his decision allowing hundreds of thousands of Florida felons who have completed prison or jail sentences to register and vote in this year’s elections.

Chris Day / Fresh Take Florida

TALLAHASSEE --- Arguing that the case is of “exceptional importance,” lawyers for Gov. Ron DeSantis have made a rare move of asking a full appellate court to consider a challenge to a voting-rights ruling that would pave the way for hundreds of thousands of felons to cast ballots in the November elections.

Appeals in federal lawsuits are almost always initially heard by three-judge panels, whose decisions can be revisited later by the full court in what are known as “en banc” hearings.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

A potential new battleground in the battle over voting rights in Florida has opened up. This time it revolves around a form that would bring clarity to who can and cannot vote in the state.

On Sunday, a federal judge struck down controversial parts of a Florida law that made it so people with felony convictions need to pay all fines, fees and restitution before registering to vote.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

On this Tuesday, May 26, episode of Sundial:

Felons Voting Rights

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled on Sunday that the requirement by the state that all former felons must pay back all fines and fees before registering to vote was unconstitutional. As many as 800,000 felons across the state of Florida could be impacted by the ruling. The high profile court case has been followed across the country for the ramifications it could have on the November 2020 election — and beyond.

In a decision with potentially far-reaching implications for November's election, a federal judge in Florida has determined a state law that would have required felons to pay any outstanding court fees and fines before they can register to vote is unconstitutional.

The ruling on Sunday by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle moves hundreds of thousands of felons who have completed "all terms of their sentence including probation and parole" one step closer to winning back their right to vote.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

A much-watched voting rights case in Florida came to a close on Wednesday with the federal judge explicitly stating that he would rule against the state of Florida. The dramatic ending to the trial came after seven days of testimony from elected officials, state employees, plaintiffs and voting rights advocates.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

Federal Judge Robert Hinkle has spent the last week doing double duty as judge and IT manager. While presiding over a major voting rights trial that is taking place remotely, he has at times had to instruct attorneys and witnesses to “hit the F5 button” or to “moot” themselves — an apparent continual slip up confusing the legal term with the technological action of muting audio.

But despite the intermittent tech issues and the court reporter asking speakers to slow down or repeat themselves, the unprecedented virtual trial has largely run smoothly.

Miami Herald

On this Thursday, April 30, episode of Sundial:

Will Florida felons be able to vote in November? 

This week, a federal court started hearing arguments about Amendment 4, a bill that restores voting rights to most people with felony convictions after they complete "all terms of their sentence."

A contentious federal civil rights trial is slated to begin Monday that will determine whether hundreds of thousands of people with felony convictions will be able to vote this fall in the swing state of Florida.

On one side of the case is Florida, along with a slew of other states supporting it from the sidelines.

On the other, hundreds of thousands of people who have completed their sentences but currently can't vote because of one thing they lack: money.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

A contentious civil rights trial is slated to start next Monday in federal court. On the one side sits the state of Florida and a slew of other states supporting it.

On the other, thousands of potential voters who are currently barred from participating in elections because of the one thing they lack: money.

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