A federal judge in northern Florida has imposed a preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of at least key provisions of a law covering elections in the state that was signed by Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis. As highlighted by CNN, the affected provisions include anticipated restrictions on the participation in voter registration outreach of noncitizens and certain people with past felony convictions.
There was, of course, no particularly compelling evidence before the state’s attempted implementation of this law that showed any kind of systematic problem with the involvement of noncitizens, including legal residents. But Republicans in Florida have been on a tear of targeting such groups, with another (also challenged) law that if allowed to stand would impose property buying restrictions on many of those hailing from certain other countries with authoritarian governments. That’s despite the fact there’s no sweeping evidence in support of the underlying notions here, either, which would apparently be that nearly every resident of China might be an agent of some sort in their Communist government!
Don’t Republicans like to clamor against authoritarian governments? And yet, when the time comes to help people affected by such regimes, they put them on planes and send them to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. In the challenge over the elections law, Mark E. Walker characterized what Florida authorities had done as contradicting basic tenets of the U.S. Constitution, though proceedings with an eye towards reaching a more final ruling will evidently continue.
“Florida may, of course, regulate elections, including the voter registration process,” Walker said, as highlighted in the report from CNN. “Here, however, the challenged provisions exemplify something Florida has struggled with in recent years; namely, governing within the bounds set by the United States Constitution.” Elsewhere, DeSantis also lost in a court challenge over a ban he sought to establish on gender-affirming care for transgender minors. A federal judge imposed a preliminary injunction allowing a few such individuals connected to the case to continue receiving such treatment. That judge, like the judicial figure handling the elections dispute, serves in the northern district of Florida.