Federal Judge Rules Florida's Voting Limits Were Passed to 'Discriminate Against Black Voters'

Federal Judge Rules Florida’s Voting Limits Were Passed to ‘Discriminate Against Black Voters’

Some Republican lawmakes are claiming that recently redrawn political maps are “race-blind” in an effort to create parity among all voters in a given district. But several recently filed lawsuits suggest the opposite is the case. (Image: Twitter/@NAACPLDF)

A federal judge in Florida has ruled to block parts of Florida’s voting limits due to its unconstitutional nature that seemingly works to “discriminate against Black voters.”

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued a 288-page ruling calling out certain limits within Florida’s controversial voting law saying the restrictions violated the Voting Rights Act and constitutional protections, The Hill reports.

The parts of the law that were raised in the ruling pertained to the restrictions Florida attempted to place on reducing the use of ballot drop boxes, making it more difficult for third-party organizations to collect voter registration forms, and banning groups from offering food, water and aid to voters waiting in line to cast their ballots.

“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.”

Walker ruled that parts of Senate Bill 90 mimicked two decades of discriminatory voting laws from the Florida legislature that were aimed at strengthening Republican power, Reuters reports.

“For the past 20 years, the majority in the Florida Legislature has attacked the voting rights of its Black constituents,” Walker wrote.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law last year, the expected 2024 presidential hopeful was among a group of GOP leaders who implemented controversial voter restrictions following the turnout of the 2020 election.

Walker was appointed by former President Barack Obama. His ruling is expected to be appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, known for being a more conservative court.

The decision helped to resolve four different lawsuits filed by civil rights and voting rights groups over claims of voter suppression.