A Florida election law that would have set limits on voter registration in the state was blocked on Monday by the Chief US District Judge for the Northern District of Florida Mark E. Walker, who said that it violates the US constitution.
Judge Walker said that while Florida has the right to seek integrity in its electoral system, its solutions for preserving election integrity are too far removed from the problems it has presented as justifications and challenges governing within the bounds set by the US Constitution, something Florida has struggled with in recent years.
The legislation, which was passed this spring, prevents citizens convicted of certain felonies and non-citizens, including permanent US residents, from collecting or handling voter registration applications.
Each ineligible person involved in collecting the applications may cost third-party organizations fines of up to $50,000.
Judge Walker, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, stressed that the federal judiciary stands as a firewall when state government power threatens to reduce individual rights and to spread beyond constitutional bounds, underscoring that the Free State of Florida is simply not free to exceed the bounds of the US Constitution.