“We will continue to monitor voting changes that are made in Florida, and across the country, to protect the rights of voters--but our job has become much more difficult," said a voting rights advocate.
More fallout from the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act came this week as a Federal Appeals court dismissed a lawsuit brought last year that tried to block a Florida voter purge.
The ACLU and Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law had filed suit on behalf of Mi Familia Vota and two naturalized U.S. citizens, arguing that the purge should be blocked because it included five counties that were covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. After the Supreme Court invalidated that coverage map, the judge was left with no other option than to throw out the case.
Florida Secretary of State indicated in court filings that he will resume the purge after this ruling, according to the Associated Press.
The validity of those purge list was questioned repeatedly during the 2012 election, with a number of local elections supervisors refusing to comply with the purge because they did not trust the list.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to gut the Voting Rights Act has taken away one of the primary tools we have used to challenge efforts to undermine democracy by suppressing minority votes,” the ACLU of Florida said in a press release following the ruling.
“The dismissal of this case is another fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder,” Barbara Arnwine, Executive Director and President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor voting changes that are made in Florida, and across the country, to protect the rights of voters–but our job has become much more difficult.”
While that job may have become more difficult, the Justice Department took steps Thursday to create new protections for voters facing potentially discriminatory voting laws, with Attorney General Eric Holder announcing he will be filing suit to create a new preclearance requirement for Texas. If the legal approach is effective, it could be applied to other jurisdictions, like Florida, as well.