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Brennan Center Statement on Decision in Johnson v. Bush

July 17, 2002

For Immediate Release

Contact Information:
Amanda Cooper, 212 998–6736

Media Alert: Brennan Center Statement on Decision in
Johnson v. Bush

Lawsuit Seeks to Reinstate the Voting Rights of 620,000 Ex-Felons in Florida

Judge James Lawrence King (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida) issued a decision today in the case of Johnson v. Bush, the lawsuit seeking to reinstate the voting rights of 620,000 ex-felons in Florida. He has granted the States motion for summary judgment on all counts. Plaintiffs were seeking a trial in the case. The Brennan Center will appeal this decision on behalf of their clients.

Once someone has paid their debt to society, it is unfair and irrational to continue to punish them for life, says Nancy Northup, lead attorney and Director of the Brennan Centers Democracy Program. Our plaintiffs include taxpaying citizens, homeowners and parents who want to be participate in civic life. Florida disenfranchises 5% of its voting age population and 10% of its African-American citizens. With this massive and racially skewed disenfranchisement, Florida does not have the representative democracy that our Constitution guarantees.”

Plaintiffs and attorneys are available for comment or interview. Get more information, including briefs filed and the court’s ruling, by visiting the Johnson v. Bush page.