A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

ACLU challenges Mississippi crackdown on felon voting rights

[JURIST] The Mississippi American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [press release] Monday challenging a list of felony crimes which prevent convicted individuals from voting in the state. The lawsuit was filed against the offices of the Mississippi Secretary of State [official website] and the Mississippi Attorney General [official website] on behalf of two state residents. Ten crimes were originally listed in the Mississippi Constitution [text] to restrict voting, but in 2004, the state added another eleven including robbery, statutory rape, carjacking, and shoplifting. The ACLU is challenging the added crimes.

The ACLU is petitioning the court to order a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order to allow individuals who have committed those crimes to register to vote. They are also asking that the October 6 voter registration deadline be extended so those convicted can still vote in the November elections. Mississippi [JURIST news archive] is one of 12 states that currently allows such limitations on voting, but its rules are considered to be the country's most restrictive. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.