Tallahassee, FL — On Monday, a federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of portions of Florida’s anti-voter law, SB 7050. The order comes after three sets of plaintiffs, including individual Florida residents, the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, Hispanic Federation, Poder Latinx, and the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL), challenged the law in court and sought emergency relief. Campaign Legal Center represents LWVFL in its challenge to the law, which restricts and penalizes basic nonpartisan civic engagement efforts.
Specifically, the preliminary injunction prevents Florida from penalizing nonpartisan civic organizations like LWVFL if any of their volunteers who help register voters are not US citizens. The ruling also blocks a provision that prohibits those organizations from retaining a voter’s personal information, such as their name and phone number, with the voter’s consent. Voter service organizations often ask for voters' contact information to send them reminders about upcoming election dates.
Chief Judge Mark Walker agreed the provisions were likely unconstitutional and severely curtailed civic groups' ability to engage with voters. “The Free State of Florida is simply not free to exceed the boundaries of the US Constitution,” Walker wrote in his ruling.
“The League of Women Voters of Florida is thrilled with the Court’s ruling which releases all third-party voter registration organizations from some of the harsh limitations on registering voters,” said Cecile Scoon, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “We await the court’s ruling on the remaining claims in our case which address similar issues pertaining to limits on who can assist us with voter registration.”
“The Court’s order sends a powerful message to legislatures that intend to stop the work of organizations like the League to advocate for voters,” said Caren Short, Director of Legal and Research for the League of Women Voters of the United States. “The League’s work is foundational to a functioning democracy and we’ll continue to fight for our right to register and educate voters.”
“We applaud the Court’s ruling, which blocks SB 7050’s restrictions on what civic engagement organizations like the League of Women Voters of Florida can do to engage with and educate voters,” said Danielle Lang, senior director of voting rights at Campaign Legal Center. “Voter engagement is political speech. When states limit the efforts of groups like the League of Women Voters of Florida, they also attack their First Amendment rights to participate in the political process.”
The preliminary injunction was granted just five days after the initial hearing, reflecting the strength of the arguments against the law. CLC and LWVFL remain hopeful that the Court will also block enforcement of the remaining provisions challenged in their suit.
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