ACLU challenged Tennessee voting rights restoration law

On February 25, 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit [PDF] in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee objecting to a Tennessee state law that required convicted felons to pay outstanding financial obligations, including restitution and child support payments, before being permitted to apply for a voter registration card. The ACLU argued that the financial burden violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In July 2007, the Washington Supreme Court held that a similar law, requiring convicted felons to pay all court-imposed fines prior to the restoration of voting rights, did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. In October 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the district court's decision in favor of the defendants.

Read an overview of US Voting Rights in Features.


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