WASHINGTON - Today, the Supreme Court denied an application to vacate stay in Raysor v. DeSantis - litigation challenging Florida's modern-day poll tax. The case will move forward at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which has scheduled an en banc hearing for August 18, the day of Florida's primary elections. Because today's decision keeps Florida's modern-day poll tax in effect, hundreds of thousands of poor and low-income Floridians will be unable to vote in next month's elections. While the Supreme Court majority did not explain its reasoning in writing, Justice Sotomayor, joined in dissent by Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, noted that the “inaction continues a trend of condoning disenfranchisement.”
The following statement is by Nancy Abudu, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center:
"The Supreme Court’s decision is an unfortunate, but not insurmountable, setback in the ongoing struggle to achieve true democracy in our country. Regardless of the Court’s stance, Florida already has acknowledged its system for administering elections, especially its rights restoration process, is deeply flawed. Our hope is that the over 700,000 people who remain eligible to vote through Florida’s Amendment 4 ballot initiative will not be victims in Florida’s war to strip poor and low-income people of all political power. Along with our clients and partners, we remain dedicated to fighting pay-to-vote schemes and ensuring equal access to the ballot box for all eligible voters."