MS: Lifetime voting ban for felony convictions struck down in Mississippi

Source: 8/4/23

Mississippi’s lifetime voting ban for people with disqualifying felony convictions has been struck down in a new decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The court’s 2-1 decision will restore the right to vote for tens of thousands of Mississippians, according to the plaintiff’s council Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

The court ruled Thursday in the case of Hopkins v. Hosemann that by banning former offenders “from the body politic forever” they will be punished “beyond the term their culpability requires,” according to the decision.

The court argued that the ban, – Section 241 of Article XII in the Mississippi Constitution – “serves no protective function to society” and is thus “a cruel and unusual punishment.”

The policy was derived from the Mississippi 1890 constitution where white lawmakers tried to disenfranchise Black people who they felt were more susceptible to commit certain crimes that would lead to lifetime voting bans.

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11%. Well now the political calculus has changed. Dems might finally get a decent share of the vote down there.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jack

This is excellent news! A persuasive case opinion for others in the country to use in the battle to restore voting rights. Now, if only the 11th Circuit would do the same or someone in FLA challenge their denial…

The court argued that the ban, – Section 241 of Article XII in the Mississippi Constitution – “serves no protective function to society” and is thus “a cruel and unusual punishment.”

Am I crazy, or could this be used to our advantage regarding registration???

Providing a glimmer of hope for those wishing to vote but currently cannot, the Fifth (!) CCoA has ruled that lifetime voting bans for some offenses are cruel and unusual punishment. Mississippi has appealed for an en banc hearing. If the ruling stands, it sets up a circuit-split that SCOTUS have to resolve.