Class-Action Suit Challenges A Florida Law Disenfranchising Convicted Felons

2005

The Brennan Center for Justice and New York University’s School of Law files a class-action suit on behalf of 600,000 disenfranchised Florida citizens against an 1868 Florida law that permanently took away convicted felons’ right to vote — only one in seven states do so. They believe that the law is discriminatory in intent because it disproportionately affects African Americans, and, therefore, it violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause and the Fifteenth Amendment’s prohibition of discriminating against voters by race. In the case of Johnson v. Bush (2005), the U.S. Court of Appeals upholds the law on the grounds that it applies to all felons regardless of race.