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Federal Court Strikes Down Florida Voter Suppression Law (Senate Bill 90)

Press Release / Last Updated:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, a US federal court struck down key provisions of Florida’s Senate Bill 90 that equated to voter suppression. Chief US District Judge Mark E. Walker ruled that Florida’s Senate Bill 90 violates federal law, unconstitutionally impeding the right to vote for Floridians. He noted that “the right to vote, and the VRA particularly, are under siege.”

Plaintiffs in this litigation included: League of Women Voters of Florida, Black Voters Matter Fund, the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, and several individual Florida voters. A number of other suits brought forth regarding Senate Bill 90 were later consolidated into the League of Women Voters of Florida’s suit.

“For democracy to work, it must include all voices. Senate Bill 90 was clearly an anti-voter measure that raised barriers to voting with specific impacts on elderly voters, voters with disabilities, students, and communities of color,” said Cecile Scoon, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “The League is gratified that once again the constitutional rights of Florida's voters have superseded partisan politics.”

Florida’s Senate Bill 90 passed both chambers of the Florida legislature in early 2021 and was subsequently signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. Immediately following the bill signing, the League and partners filed a suit objecting to its implementation. Senate Bill 90 imposed limits on voter registration, mail-in voting, and vote-by-mail drop boxes.

“Today’s ruling affirms voters’ right to fair access to and participation at the polls,” said Celina Stewart, chief counsel and senior director of advocacy and litigation at the League of Women Voters of the United States. “Florida’s Senate Bill 90 was one of the most egregious anti-voter laws in the country. And it was aimed squarely at Black voters, voters with disabilities, and voters with limited income. State legislatures everywhere should recognize that anti-voter laws like SB 90 violate the fundamental rights of their constituents. We call on legislatures around the country to stop making laws that impede the rights of the people they are elected to protect and serve.”

Judge Walker’s ruling blocks provisions including stringent restrictions on third-party voter registration drives, limits on ballot drop boxes, and criminal law barring anyone from helping voters who are waiting in line.

Read the opinion here.

Plaintiffs were represented by King, Blackwell, Zehnder & Wermuth, P.A. and Elias Law Group LLP.

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