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Scott asks court to throw out Voting Rights Act protections in Florida

Gov. Rick Scott and Secretary of State Kurt Browning filed a petition in federal court Tuesday asking the court to throw out a section of the Voting Rights Act, one of the vestiges of the Civil Rights movement that has provided an extra layer of protections to minorities voters for the past 45 years. Download State of Florida Amended Complaint - No. 11-cv-01428-CKK-MG-ESH

The federal law requires that all changes to voting and election law in five Florida counties -- Hendry, Collier, Hardee, Hillsborough and Monroe –  be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court because of their history of racial discrimination against voters. The lawsuit alleges that the pre-clearance requirement, first established in 1972, is antiquated and unconstitutional.

“I am hopeful the federal court will come to a quick resolution and approve the remaining provisions of our preclearance submission as nondiscriminatory,” Browning said in a statement. “However, I am frustrated that the reason we are still waiting to implement Florida law in five counties is because of an arbitrary and irrational coverage formula based on data from 40 years ago that takes no account of current conditions.”

Browning's motion was an amendment to a lawsuit filed earlier this year asking a three-judge panel to provide the pre-clearance review of four controversial changes to Florida's voting laws, rather the U.S. Department of Justice. He also asked the court to put expedite its ruling as as not to delay the review of the newly drawn maps after legislative redistricting next year.

Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, blasted Scott and Browning for more "taxpayer funded legal shenanigans." He blamed the governor and secretary of state for causing the delay by seeking the court case.

“Scott and Browning have made it clear that they prefer to fight to suppress the vote than follow landmark civil rights laws.  At least now it’s official,'' Simon said. “Today they’ve essentially asked a court to allow them not to follow federal law."



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Gov. Scott revokes the Rights to vote of citizens returning to society from Incarceration and now wants to throw out a portion of the Voting Rights Act? Why not admit it Gov. Scott that Republicans and conservatives have a hard time competing in the current political climate if we (republicans) don't start early trying to steal the election.

sheldon ort

I didn't know Lester Maddox has returned.Governor Scott is trying the same tricks as Maddox did.Review your history ifyou don't remember Maddox.

Gregory Creswell

It's funny how the Democrats are trying to get current convicts and ex-convicts the "right" to vote, and don't seek out the victims of these scum bags and see if they can vote.

David Kearns

It's funny how 38,000 ballots early voted in minority areas of Tampa had to be re-scanned into the voting machines on election night and there hasn't been the first explanation offered by Kurt Browning for that. Oh, but, let's remove protections for minority voters, yeah. Because there's nothing sinister in the works here. Hey, if you walk down the Vietnam Memorial wall to the center, you're not even at 38,000 names yet. Nothing sinister. Go back to sleep big media. More Casey coverage please. Yumm.


It has been 40 years since the ruling. He does have a point and right to ask if the additional federal supervision is still required.

Charles Darwin

What? Now minorities won't be able to vote twice like they do now?


well..i see the iditos come out at all times


@Gregory - The victims of crime have never been stripped by the STATE of their right to vote. They are not in need of having their voting rights restored.

@Charles - I think that the minorities would be satisfied with being able to vote once.

What would be REALLY AMAZING to see would be that the State of Florida were to actually conduct elections and allow all citizens to vote in a reasonable manner, but that is not going to happen in my lifetime.

Smartest person in the world

They are trying to steal the next election. These conservatives are a joke.


@Gregory - once a person's been to prison and done his or her time is society supposed to punish ex-felons even more by stripping them of the one of the fundamental rights of a democratic society? Isn't the goal to prevent recidivism? How can that be done by telling ex-felons that they aren't full citizens? Stripping any American of his or her right to vote is UN-AMERICAN.

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