Restoration Advisory Opinion
Rights Restoration Advisory Opinion
Fair Elections Center and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC filed a brief with the Supreme Court of Florida arguing that under the Florida Constitution as amended by Amendment 4 (2018), people with felony convictions do not need to pay administrative costs and fees to regain their voting rights. These costs fund the criminal justice system, but do not serve as punishment and are not part of the criminal sentence.
In November 2018, Floridians passed the Voting Rights Restoration Amendment, known as Amendment 4, which restored the right to vote to people with felony convictions who have completed “all terms of sentence.” Seven months later, the Florida Legislature enacted SB 7066 which, in part, requires felons who seek voting rights restoration to pay some, but not all, costs and fees assessed against them. The brief filed today by the Center and Cohen Milstein focuses on this aspect of the law and argues it violates the Florida Constitution, because costs and fees are not “terms of sentence.”
Brief on the Amendment 4 Advisory (9.18.19)
Florida Supreme Court's Decision (01.16.20)