Legal Updates

FELON VOTING RIGHTS The U.S. Supreme Court left in place a circuit court of appeals order stopping a district court decision allowing felons to register and vote until they pay the fees they owe. The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held a hearing on August 18th to review the case.

FLORIDA SUPREME COURT NOMINEE A lawsuit has been filed challenging the appointment of Palm Beach County circuit judge Renatha Francis to the Florida Supreme Court. The judicial nominating committee submitted her recommendation on January 23rd, but the state constitution requires a nominee to be a Florida Bar member for 10 years. Judge Francis would not meet that requirement until September 24th. The suit requests her nomination be thrown out since she was ineligible to be nominated.

MINOR PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against two minor parties seeking to have their candidates placed on the 2020 Florida presidential ballot. The 2012 law requires minor parties to collect signatures representing one percent of the electorate or affiliate with a major political party. The court ruled the requirements were constitutional.

VOTE BY MAIL An agreement was reached between voter rights groups and the state before a lawsuit moved to a hearing. The accord, approved by the U.S. district court judge, requires, among other provisions, that the state to hold a workshop with the local supervisors of elections to set best practices for voting by mail; encourage supervisors to pay ballot return postage; and notify the public of ballot drop off boxes.