Republican Gov. Rick Scott appears ready to jump into Florida’s Senate race, setting up a high-profile showdown against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
A top Scott aide, Jackie Schutz Zeckman, resigned as the governor’s chief of staff Sunday and says Scott will make a “major announcement” on April 9.
But it seems that he will have a huge problem when the citizens of Florida hit the voting places.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ordered Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet to restore voting rights to felons.
Mark Walker was nominated to the federal bench by Barack Obama in 2012.
Florida is a battleground state so this move could help change the state blue.
The Miami Herald reports:
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee issued a permanent injunction in support of the Fair Elections Legal Network, which sued the state a year ago. The group successfully challenged the constitutionality of the state’s 150-year-old voting rights restoration process for felons in the nation’s third-largest state.
“This is a victory for the principle that the right to vote cannot be subjected to officials’ gut instincts and whims,” said Jon Sherman, senior counsel for the nonprofit voting rights group. “We are also heartened that the court prevented Florida from following through on its threat to be the only state in the nation with an irrevocable lifetime ban on voting for all former felons — what the court called ‘the ultimate arbitrary act.’ ”
A spokesman for Scott issued a statement that defended the current system.
“Officials elected by Floridians, not judges, have the authority to determine Florida’s clemency process for convicted felons,” spokesman John Tupps said. “This is outlined in Florida’s Constitution and has been in place for more than a century and under multiple gubernatorial administrations.”
Tupps said Scott — who’s expected to declare his candidacy for U.S. Senate on April 9 — “believes that people who have been convicted of felony offenses, including crimes like murder, violence against children and domestic violence, should demonstrate that they can live a life free of crime while being accountable to our communities.”
Of course, Governor Scott can rely on his own money, he can point to job growth under his watch as governor, and his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma has helped his poll numbers.
But this rule could give him huge difficulties!
Alex D is a conservative journalist, who covers all issues of importance for conservatives. He writes for Supreme Insider, Red State Nation, Defiant America, Right Journalism, Conservative US. He brings attention and insight from what happens in the White House to the streets of American towns, because it all has an impact on our future, and the country left for our children. Exposing the truth is his ultimate goal, mixed with wit where it’s appropriate, and feels that journalism shouldn’t be censored. Join him & let’s spread the good word!