Democrats do not control the courts anymore, not since President Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell started getting conservative judges confirmed.
And they are starting to learn that as the Supreme Court of Florida just dealt a devastating blow to the Democrats’ plans of stuffing the ballots and rigging the 2020 presidential election.
The plan from the Democrats was simple. Give felons back their voting rights and, as they tend to vote against the party of law and order, this would mean many more votes for Democrats in a key swing state.
The addition of those votes could be what shifts the state from President Trump to whoever the Democrat nominee is.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republicans argued that felons, even after completing their prison sentence, should have to pay the fines they owe as part of their sentence before they could have their voting rights restored.
The Democrats fought that in court, saying that the requirement placed an undue burden on the felons, depriving them of their voting rights.
In a 4 – 1 decision, the state’s high court agreed with the governor that “all terms of sentence” which includes all “legal financial obligations,” have to be completed before voting rights could be restored.
“There is no basis to conclude that ‘all terms of sentence’ excludes any LFOs ordered by the sentencing judge. Indeed, an abundance of statutory and case law supports the conclusion that fines, restitution, and fees and costs all comfortably fit within the ordinary meaning of ‘all terms of sentence,” the court said.
“Beginning with restitution, this Court has referred to that obligation as part of a ‘sentence,’ and even as ‘punishment,'” it said. “An analysis of fines looks remarkably similar. Indeed, this Court has referred to fines as part of a ‘sentence.’”
“Although fees and costs can reasonably be said to differ in many respects from restitution and fines, various court pronouncements and statutory provisions similarly support including them within the scope of Amendment 4’s phrase ‘all terms of sentence,’” it said.
Nancy Abudu, the deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, was furious at the court’s decision.
“We think, of course, it’s wrong, that the language in and of itself should be restricted to everything associated with a sentence except for the LFOs, and we are emphasizing that this is an unconstitutional poll tax or an unconstitutional form of wealth-based discrimination,” she said.
But Gov. DeSantis celebrated the decision in a tweet.
“I am pleased that @FLCourts confirms that Amendment 4 requires fines, fees & restitution be paid to victims before their voting rights may be restored. Voting is a privilege that should not be taken lightly, and I am obligated to faithfully implement Amendment 4 as it is defined,” he said.