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JULY 18, 2002
8:15 PM
CONTACT:  Brennan Center for Justice
Amanda Cooper of the Brennan Center for Justice,
Brennan Center Statement on Decision in Johnson v. Bush
NEW YORK - July 18 - 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 State's 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 Center's Democracy Program. "Our plaintiffs include taxpaying citizens, homeowners and parents who want to be participate in civic life. Florida disenfranchises 5 percent of its voting age population and 10 percent of its African-American citizens. With this massive and racially skewed disenfranchisement, Florida does not have the representative democracy that our Constitution guarantees."

For more information, or comment from attorneys or plaintiffs please contact Amanda Cooper at 212-998-6736.


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