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STRUCK DOWN: DeSantis loses big in new federal court ruling

STRUCK DOWN: DeSantis loses big in new federal court ruling

OPINION: The problem with Florida has ties to McCarthyism and the Third Reich

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In a huge victory for democracy — and a huge loss for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — a federal judge has found large parts of Florida’s voter suppression Senate Bill 90 unconstitutional.

Judge Mark Walker wrote in a pointed ruling that the law “runs roughshod over the right to vote,” agreeing with plaintiffs and advocates that it was discriminatory and that it infringed on Floridians’ voting rights.

These restrictions on voting rights were a big priority for Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Republicans, and the bill was infamously signed at a campaign-style rally that was blocked off from most of the press except for Fox & Friends. It added new restrictions on voting drop boxes, on voter registration carried out by third-party organizations, and on voting by mail.

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Republicans across the country have been on a rampage against voting rights following Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential elections. Conspiracy theories regarding election fraud have propelled GOP state legislatures to enact measures that will make it harder for people to vote and easier for Republicans to challenge legitimate election results.

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Ron DeSantis has been a huge supporter of Trump’s unhinged claims of a stolen 2020 election and has supported numerous measures to carry forward the Republican Party’s anti-democratic agenda, including setting up his own election police force that will investigate claims of election fraud and that answers directly to his office.

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In his ruling against Senate Bill 90, Judge Walker acknowledged that the legislation “unduly burdening disabled voters, and intentionally targeting minority voters — all to improve the electoral prospects of the party in power.”

The decision has triggered Florida Republicans, with State Senate President Wilton Simpson calling it “unbecoming of an officer of the court.”

What is actually unbecoming of anything is opportunistic and cynical lawmakers attacking our right to vote and the democratic process because of the temper tantrums of Donald Trump, a disgraced reality TV star and insurrection enthusiast, who simply can’t accept that a majority of Americans rejected his bid to be reelected as president.

Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. He tweets from @tomaskenn.

RELATED STORY: GERRYMANDER: The reasons behind Ron DeSantis’ veto of Florida’s proposed congressional maps

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Thomas Kennedy
is a former reported opinion columnist and roving correspondent. He's an elected member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida and a fomer Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.

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