Appeals Court Rules That Many Florida Felons Can't Register To Vote
A lower court had said requirement that felons pay fines before registering to vote was an unconstitutional poll tax.
A federal appeals court ruled that felons who haven't paid court fees or fines cannot register to vote — likely barring them from the 2020 election.
The court reversed a lower court's ruling in a 6-4 vote Friday — siding with Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-controlled legislature over voting rights activists. The lower court had called the requirement an unconstitutional poll tax.
With the deadline for registration being October 5th, felons who fail to pay fines before then will be barred from voting in the critical swing state, unless another court acts.
Floridans voted overwhelmingly in 2018 for Amendment 4. It granted felons the right to vote once they've complete their sentences.
However, lawmakers changed the definition of a completed sentence the next year — requiring all fines and fees to be paid in addition to serving time.
Voting rights advocates have criticized the law — saying it effectively creates a "pay-to-vote" system that targets minorities and poor Americans.
Georgia election probe report on Trump to remain secret for now
The judge said he would further reflect on the parties' arguments and would reach out with any questions before making a final decision.By John Bazemore / AP
Jan. 6 Panel Shutting Down After Referring Trump For Crimes
The House Jan. 6 committee's time officially ends Tuesday when the new Republican-led House is sworn in.By Matt Rourke / AP
Jan. 6 Committee Recommends Charging Trump
Democrats in the House are moving swiftly to wrap up key investigations involving Trump before Republicans take control of the chamber.By AP
Here’s how our planetary defense system works
NASA has been funding search programs to observe the night sky in order to discover as many asteroids as possible.By NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/CSA/York/MDA via AP
Police say 3 dead, 4 hurt in latest California shooting
This marks the fourth mass shooting in California this month.By Matt Rourke / AP
FDA moves to ease rules for blood donations from gay men
The FDA announced draft guidelines that would do away with the three-month abstinence requirement for donations from men who have sex with men.By Francois Mori / AP