State of Florida

Florida Omnibus Voter Suppression Law Challenge (Hispanic Federation)

Hispanic Federation v. Byrd

Lawsuit filed by Hispanic Federation, Poder Latinx and four Florida residents against Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) and Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd (R) challenging a portion of omnibus voter suppression law, Senate Bill 7050. The plaintiffs specifically challenge a provision of S.B. 7050 that imposes restrictions on third-party voter registration organizations (3PVROs): organizations that engage in community-based voter registration. In particular, the plaintiffs allege that a provision of S.B. 7050 that prohibits noncitizen volunteers from conducting voter registration on behalf of 3PVROs — and imposes a $50,000 fine on 3PVROs that violate this portion of the law — contravenes the U.S. Constitution. “As a result of the Law, each of the individual plaintiffs will have their core political speech and association not just chilled — but prohibited,” the complaint reads.

The plaintiffs contend that the challenged provision is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad and thereby violates the right to free speech and association under the First Amendment. Additionally, the lawsuit argues that the provision violates the plaintiffs’ fundamental right to vote as well as the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause since “there is no compelling (or even rational) reason to exclude all noncitizens from handling and collecting voter registration applications.” Finally, the complaint argues that the provision contravenes noncitizens’ equal rights to contract under federal law. The plaintiffs ask the court to block the challenged provision of S.B. 7050 pertaining to noncitizens’ involvement in 3PVROs and to declare it in violation of the U.S. Constitution and federal law.

On July 3, 2023, a federal district court judge temporarily blocked the provision of S.B. 7050 that bans noncitizens from engaging in voter registration. On July 11, the Florida secretary of state and attorney general appealed this decision to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case is consolidated with Florida State Conference of Branches and Youth Units of the NAACP v. Byrd for purposes of scheduling and trial.

On March 1, 2024, the judge granted in part the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and permanently blocked the Florida secretary of state from enforcing a provision of S.B. 7050 that bars noncitizens from collecting or handling voter registration applications on behalf of 3PVROs. The judge held that the provision violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Following trial, the judge permanently blocked the citizenship provision on May 15.

STATUS: A ruling is pending from the 11th Circuit on the state’s appeal of the preliminary injunction that blocked certain aspects of S.B. 7050. Meanwhile on June 10, 2024, the state appealed the ruling that permanently blocked S.B. 7050’s citizenship provision to the 11th Circuit.

Case Documents (district court)

Case Documents (11th circuit)

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