Court upholds Florida election integrity law

by Laura Ramirez

Photo: Alamy

A three-judge panel ruled to temporarily reinstate Florida SB 90, an election integrity law, and overturn a lower court judge’s decision that struck down most provisions of the legislation.

The bill “strengthens existing voter ID laws, bans ballot harvesting, prohibits unsolicited mass mailing of ballots, increases election transparency, and prohibits private money from administering elections,” according to the governor’s office.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., signed the legislation in 2021, as states conducted investigations into voter fraud stemming from the 2020 election. However, lawsuits started to pour in as organizations attempted to block election integrity measures based on alleged voter suppression and discrimination.

In March, a United States District Court ruled against the measure, saying state lawmakers have “repeatedly sought to make voting tougher for Black voters because of their propensity to favor Democratic candidates.”

However, 11th Circuit judges Kevin Newsom, Barbara Lagoa, and Andrew Brasher, all reportedly appointed by President Trump, heavily critiqued the former judge’s ruling. They said that the prior decision was issued too close to the election for changes to be made to the law, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The judges further stated that the district court “failed to properly account for what might be called the presumption of legislative good faith.”

“For starters, in its 288-page opinion, the district court never once mentioned the presumption. And while we do not require courts to incant magic words, it does not appear to us that the district court here meaningfully accounted for the presumption at all,” the ruling states.

“The motion for a stay pending appeal is GRANTED,” the judges concluded.

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