This is one PISS POOR DECISION, and I was not happy to see this headline. As you can see in the Article, given the fucked up state of the law in Florida, the court had not much choice.
Made by judges who have NO idea how difficult it is to bounce back financially after being locked up for years. Sheeeeeit, it has been 8 years for me and I still need to beg for money occasionally!
Although Florida voters, using common sense, passed a referendum to the contrary, Republicans nevertheless blocked it. Why? Because they know that ex offenders are aware of all the INJUSTICE done to individuals and to society by Republican policies, and will not vote for them! And THAT, folks, is the God’s honest truth!
Excerpts from the Article:
Florida’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that convicted felons must pay fines and other fees related to their sentences before voting, concluding a legal controversy that pitted the state government against voting rights advocacy groups.
The court decided in its ruling that “all terms of sentence” includes not only terms of a person’s imprisonment and supervision, but also fines and other obligations imposed as part of a punishment. “We conclude that ‘all terms of sentence’ plainly encompasses not only durational terms, but also obligations and therefore includes all [legal financial obligations (LFOs)] imposed in conjunction with an adjudication of guilt,” the ruling reads. “As explained next, we reject as overly technical the arguments advanced by certain Non-State Parties that Amendment 4 encompasses only some LFOs.”
The amendment to the Florida constitution that allows 1.4 million convicted felons to vote following their release from incarceration was lauded by civil rights advocates after its passage in November, with the advocates noting that people of color had been disproportionately impacted by the ban.
However, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill in June mandating that the former convicts pay off restitution, court fees and fines before regaining the right to vote, sparking criticism from opponents who said the law amounted to a poll tax.
Several groups, including the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, the Orange County Branch of the NAACP, and the League of Women Voters of Florida, sued the state government following the bill’s signing. The Florida Supreme Court rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that the fines and other fees should not be considered, saying they “isolate and parse the word ‘sentence’ to carve out” certain legal financial obligations.
“Absent any suggestion in the context of Amendment 4 that the word ‘sentence’ carries a technical meaning restricting its scope, there is no basis to conclude that ‘all terms of sentence’ excludes any LFOs ordered by the sentencing judge,” it added.
DeSantis praised the ruling, saying it will allow the amendment to be properly enforced.