A federal judge ruled that parts of Florida’s new election law are unconstitutional and unfairly affected Black voters.
Background: Last year Florida’s Republican-led legislature passed a new voting law aimed at protecting election integrity. Florida was among multiple states that passed new voter laws aimed at protecting elections after former President Trump accused the 2020 election of being affected by widespread fraud.
The new law triggered lawsuits from various advocacy groups claiming the law intentionally sought to disenfranchise voters.
What Happened: U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker, an Obama appointee, issued a 288-page opinion on Thursday attacking the law.
Judge Walker struck down a measure requiring drop boxes to be manned by election workers and limiting their use to early voting hours, except for secure boxes at election offices. He also blocked a measure prohibiting anyone from “engaging in any activity with the intent to influence or effect of influencing a voter” within 150 feet of a drop box or polling place.
The judge also struck down new rules for voter-registration groups, including a requirement that they had to warn applicants that their registration could be delivered late claiming the rule wasn’t justified.
“This Court further finds that, to advance the Legislature’s main goal of favoring Republicans over Democrats, the Legislature enacted some of SB 90’s provisions with the intent to target Black voters because of their propensity to favor Democratic candidates.” (The Wall Street Journal)
What Republicans Say: “This is nothing more than a liberal, activist partisan ruling by a liberal, activist partisan judge,” said Florida state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia.