En Banc United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upholds Florida requirements that all financial aspects of criminal sentences be satisfied prior to restoration of the right to vote

Opinion of the En Banc United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in KELVIN LEON JONES, ROSEMARY MCCOY, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, versus GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA, FLORIDA SECRETARY OF STATE, Defendants-Appellants.

The en banc Eleventh Circuit reversed a previous three judge panel and the District Court and vacated the injunction granted by the District Court.

The Eleventh Circuit found the Florida statute to be constitutionally sound. Felons must pay off all fines, costs and restitution prior to having their right to vote restored. They cannot use their inability to pay such financial obligations as a defense.

The decision, concurrences and dissents run a full 200 pages.


So Floridians will have to change the state constitution again to remedy this. Because I’m sure that’s not what they were intending to vote for.


It is what I voted for. Your sentence is not complete until everything in that sentence is complete.


The ballot summary and the underlying amendment itself was written in such a way as to not make it entirely obvious that “terms of sentence” includes all fines, costs and restitution. But those are clearly terms of sentence.

Ballot title = Voting Restoration Amendment

Ballot summary = This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.

Actual language added to Constitution (bold text) =

Article VI, Section 4. Disqualifications.—

(a) No person convicted of a felony, or adjudicated in this or any other state to be mentally incompetent, shall be qualified to vote or hold office until restoration of civil rights or removal of disability. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any disqualification from voting arising from a felony conviction shall terminate and voting rights shall be restored upon completion of all terms of sentence including parole or probation.

(b) No person convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense shall be qualified to vote until restoration of civil rights.

© No person may appear on the ballot for re-election to any of the following offices:

Here is a possible corrective amendment to place before the people in 2022.

Amendment title = Waiving certain financial requirements for voting rights restoration and requires the Government to notify all convicted persons of the current status of their financial obligations.

Amendment summary = This amendment waives the requirement that all financial elements of a defendant’s sentence be paid in full, if, by reason of poverty, a defendant is unable to pay in full all financial elements of their sentence. A defendant seeking waiver under this amendment shall present a legal affidavit to that effect to the court that sentenced him. Such court, if it shall find the defendant incapable of paying his obligations, shall grant a waiver permitting the defendant to register to vote.

Let the people of the State of Florida decide in 2022 if they want to do something like the above. Pretty much the only option left at this point.

It’s the correct ruling.


Maybe Hollywood Libertines can start a fund to pay off criminals’ fines and get them back their vote in the hope they will vote for Democrats.

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Are there any others states who have recently attempted a new path for felons to have their voting rights restored sooner like Florida?

Check with Kamala.