Florida officials appeal federal ruling that struck down parts of 2021 election law

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The appeal seeks to overturn a federal judge's ruling that called out Republican lawmakers' attempt to suppress the Black vote.

As promised, the state of Florida is appealing the federal court ruling that struck down some changes to the state’s election law crafted in 2021.

The one-page notice of appeal was filed late Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta just seven days after Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker issued his 288-page ruling that lambasted the election code changes in 2021 as tactics to suppress Black votes. He struck down tightened regulations for using ballot drop boxes and new rules for third-party registration groups.

He also ruled that a section of the changes that discourages “line warming” — engaging with people waiting to vote — was unconstitutional.

The ruling was in response to a suit brought by the League of Women Voters of Florida and other groups against the law (SB 90). Voting rights activists hailed the March 31 decision from the judge President Barack Obama appointed. Gov. Ron DeSantis dismissed it, however, saying the ruling was “performative partisanship.” 

And Attorney General Ashley Moody late Thursday did what she guaranteed she would do “100%” on the day after ruling. She was on the list of defendants appealing the ruling along with Secretary of State Laurel Lee, Lake County Elections Supervisor Alan Hays and Lee County Elections Supervisor Tommy Doyle. The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee joined as intervenor-defendants.

With six judges that President Donald Trump appointed, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta is considered one of the second or third most conservative courts in the country. The U.S. Supreme Court is the next stop if this court’s ruling is appealed.

Walker’s ruling called out Florida Republicans’ 20-year history regarding Black voters.

At some point, when the Florida Legislature passes law after law disproportionately burdening Black voters, this Court can no longer accept that the effect is incidental,” Walker wrote. “Based on the indisputable pattern set out above, this Court finds that, in the past 20 years, Florida has repeatedly sought to make voting tougher for Black voters because of their propensity to favor Democratic candidates.”

The 2022 Session saw more changes for election regulation. Along party lines, the Legislature approved a bill (SB 524) that would create an election crimes investigation unit. Gov. DeSantis has not yet signed the bill.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


21 comments

  • Jerry

    April 10, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    Where in the law does it say black people can’t vote? Would a liberal please point out to me what in this law specifically makes it so a black person can’t vote in this state?
    Yeah, they have to follow rules and deadlines…the same ones that white people have to follow. We aren’t going to do mass mail-in voting for ballot harvesting. If you can’t get off your lazy behind for 10 minutes to vote and put a ballot in a mailbox, frankly I don’t want you voting. I’ve worked 60 hour a week jobs before and still found time to vote. You got more than two weeks of early voting and months of mail-in voting. Even the busiest person can find 10 minutes to vote.

    • Ocean Joe

      April 10, 2022 at 7:24 pm

      “Frankly I don’t want you voting”
      Jerry, that explains it all. There are certain people who reliably vote for Democrats…and you don’t want them voting, at least your party doesn’t and that’s why they come up with one restriction after another to make it harder. If we were all old, white people with time on our hands, wouldn’t that be great?

      • just sayin

        April 11, 2022 at 8:08 am

        Democrats – Americans are stupid, ignorant, and racist.
        Also Democrats – we want even more stupid people voting!

      • Anonymous

        April 11, 2022 at 8:26 pm

        That’s what you got from the OP? Also, many of the “old, white people” you speak of are the low-thirty percent or so making up Brandon’s approval rating.

      • I can wait

        April 13, 2022 at 6:13 pm

        Whats he gonna be able to do?

        His party leadership is over 80s who look like they could turn to sand any moment and his fellow voters already are lol

    • Edward F

      April 11, 2022 at 3:14 am

      There is zero evidence of ballot harvesting, except by one Republican former congressman in North Carolina, and that case had nothing to do with universal mail-in voting. The states that have adopted universal mail-in voting have higher participation across the board, especially among retirees. These states have had almost no fraud. It is very popular with voters who have used this system. However, the primary reason that a number of states (both Democratic and Republican states) have adopted universal mail-in voting is that it is considerably cheaper and saves tax dollars. You should really learn about what you are talking about before you start spouting nonsense.

      • fred

        April 11, 2022 at 11:08 am

        Take your own advice! Start by watching the Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary;
        “2000 Mules”, which proves cheating in at least 6 states! PA for instance shows ballot box stuffing (a state which Trump had a 600,000 vote lead 12 hours after the polls closed), but several days later the “mail-in ballot count was completed, which erased his win!
        The ballot harvesters were filmed stuffing the unattended ballot boxes with large number of the ballots, with no ID, signature or citizenship verification, all wearing gloves (no finger prints) in the dark of night into some 2000 unattended ballot boxes across 6 states!
        Then take a moment to familiarize yourself with the Harvard’s Election Integrity Project & media bias study “published” in Dec 2020: the US is ranked last in the developed world and 57th overall out of 195 countries in election “integrity!
        Among OECD (members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) 78% of the countries either do not allow mail-in ballots “for people living in the country” due to voter fraud and vote buying and require a photo ID to get an absentee ballot. 85% of EU Countries subscribe to the same rules!
        The law passed in Florida has nothing to do with race, just legality, which demon-lib-rats have a propensity to ignore, as witnessed by the blue states burning across the country!

        • PeterH

          April 11, 2022 at 1:18 pm

          Regarding the 2020 election ….most of the arrests made here in Florida and Nationally for voter fraud were connected to Republicans. The latest voter fraud is connected to Mark Meadows! He resided in Washington DC but registered to vote and voted absentee from a trailer park in North Carolina. DSouza is a QANON nutcase with unverifiable conspiracy theories.

          • fred

            April 11, 2022 at 3:39 pm

            And the C ommie N ews N etwreck is your source of info?
            That’s OK I’ll stick with the videos taken by security cameras!
            Please note: voting absentee from a trailer park in North Carolina — ABSENTEE is not illegal UNLESS he voted twice,is that what you’re saying he voted twice? Was he charged with voter fraud? In any case,this is about “mail-in ballots” not absentee! You do know the difference, RIGHT?
            Now if we CAN get piglucy to release the 14,000 hours of Jan 6th videos taken at the capital, perhaps we can get to the truth!

        • PeterH

          April 11, 2022 at 3:49 pm

          North Carolina law states that the person MUST RESIDE in the trailer. Meadows never lived in the trailer and not a single credible source from anywhere validated what was filmed in Pennsylvania. Including Bill Barr…..Trumps hand pick wingnut to run Justice. LOL

          QAnon is still alive and well in Fred’s brain.

          • fred

            April 12, 2022 at 11:12 am

            At least having a brain, bets the empty vessel atop your neck, obviously limiting your cognition, which puts you in good company with your savior the bought and paid for CCP puppet, bio-dunce!

        • PeterH

          April 12, 2022 at 11:47 am

          FRED’S FAVORITE CCP DUNCE FINALLY REVEALED:

          Jan. 22, Twitter:

          “One of the many great things about our just signed giant Trade Deal with China is that it will bring both the USA & China closer together in so many other ways. Terrific working with President Xi, a man who truly loves his country. Much more to come!”

          Donald Trump, Twitter January 22, 2020

          PS that failed ‘great trade deal’ Trump is talking about generated trade tariffs which in turn ARE PAID BY CONSUMERS….. and cause inflation!

          • fred

            April 13, 2022 at 10:27 am

            Yo, DA, did Trump sell out the US for $1.5bil from the CCP?
            No that would be the bio-dunce crime cartel.
            PS: You might take a class in economics; when the tariffs are applied the prices go up, making demand go down, which was the intent — aka Buy American!!
            Now put your bio-dunce, dunce cap back on and take a nap!

    • I get the white out

      April 13, 2022 at 6:11 pm

      “Frankly I don’t want you voting”

      COVID: yeah i dont want to vote either lol

  • fred

    April 11, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Is there something about blacks that can’t follow the same laws, rules and procedures every other race does? Why do blacks need some sort of “special” accommodation for everything: education, jobs, and etc., now voting? What gives?
    Anyone; feel free to “splain” it to me, please!

  • fred

    April 11, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    Why do blacks need some sort of “special” accommodation for everything: education, jobs, and etc., now voting? What gives? Why can’t follow the same laws, rules and procedures every other race does?
    Anyone; feel free to “splain” it to me, please!

  • Anonymous

    April 11, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    Funny how smug Democrats and their Big Tech censors suddenly call our election system secure after four years of screaming that a certain barely Second-World country hacked it for a guy whose policies were contrary to their interests, yet all of a sudden, requiring voter ID is racist. Meanwhile, illegal aliens are permitted to vote in municipal elections in New York. If the Democrats would run elections on SurveyMonkey they would, or would that be a “digital divide” barrier?

    • fred

      April 12, 2022 at 11:46 am

      I always get a kick out of the demon-lib-rats that believe there was no fraud! But there was cheating, as they did not follow their state constitutions for making changes to the rules and processes for conducting elections! Therefore, all ballots that were cast, stuffed or harvested, using changes made to accommodate the bogus covid lock-downs, were “invalid”, fraudulent or not, as they did not follow the legislative process to make such changes!
      Proof is in their actions “after the fact” as they have been busy “amending” the state constitutions to enshrine their very tactics they used to cheat, including but not limited to: extended time-frames after the polls closed to “count” ballots (weeks in some cases), 15 day early voting, refusing to purge of voter rolls of the deceased or those who have moved from the state and etc., no legal photo ID, mail-in ballots, with no date stamps, no signature or signature / citizenship verification, unsecured ballot boxes in random locations, election day registration, ballot harvesting, No “fraud” need be proven if the “entire process” was “illegal”, which was the case in at least 6 states, and likely others!
      All comes down to what the definition of “fraud” is, so we’ll just call it cheating and for what, 446 days of abject failure? Not sure I’d be telling the others how proud one is of their big cheat!
      If anyone believes the millions of invaders don’t have mail-in ballots stuffed in their documents, to be used in 215 days, they are as delusional as bio-dunce!

    • fred

      April 12, 2022 at 3:48 pm

      I always get a kick out of the demon-lib-rats that believe there was no fraud! But there was cheating, as they did not follow their state constitutions for making changes to the rules and processes for conducting elections! Therefore, all ballots that were cast, stuffed or harvested, using changes made to accommodate the bogus covid lock-downs, were “invalid”, fraudulent or not, as they did not follow the legislative process to make such changes!
      Proof is in their actions “after the fact” as they have been busy “amending” the state constitutions to enshrine their very tactics they used to cheat, including but not limited to: extended time-frames after the polls closed to “count” ballots (weeks in some cases), 15 day early voting, refusing to purge of voter rolls of the deceased or those who have moved from the state and etc., no legal photo ID, mail-in ballots, with no date stamps, no signature or signature / citizenship verification, unsecured ballot boxes in random locations, election day registration, ballot harvesting, No “fraud” need be proven if the “entire process” was “illegal”, which was the case in at least 6 states, and likely others!
      All comes down to what the definition of “fraud” is, so we’ll just call it cheating and for what, 446 days of abject failure? Not sure telling the others how proud one is of their big cheat is prudent!
      If anyone believes the millions of invaders don’t have mail-in ballots stuffed in their “travel”documents, to be used in 215 days, they are as delusional as bio-dunce!

      • Don’t Look Up

        April 12, 2022 at 6:09 pm

        In the 2020 election only a handful of Republicans committed voter fraud. They were caught!

        • fred

          April 13, 2022 at 10:44 am

          Please don’t try and use semantics to defend fraud, as cheating comes in many forms. When millions of mail-in ballots were deposited / counted days and in some cases weeks after the polls closed with no legal photo ID, no date stamps, no signature or signature / citizenship verification, in unsecured ballot boxes in random locations, and are caught on video, pails in comparison to a couple of DAs voting in the wrong precincts or whatever they were charged with!
          The problem is simple, when the mail-in ballots are separated from the envelop, the can’t be tracked back to the source.

Comments are closed.


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