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Court Filings & Opinions Democracy & Voting Rights

Gruver v. Barton

Florida鈥檚 constitutional Amendment 4 allows for ex-felons to restore their right to vote and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed the previous preliminary injunction.



Florida approved Amendment 4 on November 6, 2018, as a way to help ex-felons restore their right to vote. It was a historic moment that was then followed by the Senate Bill 7066. This bill required ex-felons who wanted the right to vote to also pay fines, fees, and restitution as part of their sentence. When the case was taken to the Florida Supreme Court, it deemed the legal financial obligations to be appropriate. Plaintiffs then brought the case up to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida to challenge the constitutionality of the financial obligation. The court issued a preliminary injunction that allowed the plaintiffs to still be able to restore their right to vote and not have to pay any financial obligations as long as they show they are not able to pay it. Lastly, the case was taken up to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and the court ruled with the district court and upheld the preliminary injunction. It found that in punishing those that were less wealthy the legal financial obligation requirement violated the 14th amendment Equal Protection Clause.


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