The Supreme Court of the United States just stepped in to stop the Democrats in one of their attempts to steal the 2020 presidential election.
On Thursday the court ruled, in a 5 – 3 decision, that Florida can prevent convicted felons from voting until they pay all of their fines and restitution, The New York Post reported.
The decision makes sense because fines and restitution are part of a felon’s sentence and if they do not then they have not completed their sentence.
“This Court’s inaction continues a trend of condoning disenfranchisement,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in her dissent.
“Under this scheme, nearly a million otherwise-eligible citizens cannot vote unless they pay money,” she said, calling the policy a “voter paywall” against convicts who cannot afford to pay.
The decision was a victory for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has fought improving voting rights for the state’s felons. When voters in 2018 approved a ballot measure to restore voting rights to most felons, the state Legislature passed a bill blocking those with felony convictions from registering to vote. DeSantis signed the bill into law last June.
Rick Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California Irvine, wrote in a blog post Thursday that the decision has “big implications” on the November election.
“This case is perhaps the most consequential when it comes to election outcomes; Florida is a perennial swing state and the number of voters affected by this ruling is significant,” he said.
And as ex-convicts tend to vote Democratic it is a significant blow to their scheme to get Florida in the Democrat camp, Politico reported.
Campaign Legal Center Paul Smith called the decision “disappointing” because, he believes, voters are being disenfranchised.
“This is a deeply disappointing decision,” he said. “Florida’s voters spoke loud and clear when nearly two-thirds of them supported rights restoration at the ballot box in 2018.”
Judge Robert L. Hinkle, who sits on the Federal District Court in Tallahassee, issued a preliminary injunction in favor of the plaintiffs and a =three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit unanimously affirmed his ruling before it got to the Supreme Court, The New York Times reported.
“The State of Florida has adopted a system under which nearly a million otherwise-eligible citizens will be allowed to vote only if they pay an amount of money,” the judge said. “Most of the citizens lack the financial resources to make the required payment. Many do not know, and some will not be able to find out, how much they must pay.”
“This pay-to-vote system,” he said. “would be universally decried as unconstitutional but for one thing: Each citizen at issue was convicted, at some point in the past, of a felony offense. A state may disenfranchise felons and impose conditions on their re-enfranchisement. But the conditions must pass constitutional scrutiny. Whatever might be said of a rationally constructed system, this one falls short in substantial respects.”
If the felons cannot afford to pay restitution and fines they should have considered that prior to committing their crimes.