Federal Appeals Court to Reconsider Mississippi Voting Rights Case


A federal court of appeals in the United States is going to reevaluate a recent ruling. The ruling in question is on Mississippi’s voting rights.

The Federal Court (5th U.S. Circuit Court) of Appeals is going to carry out an “en banc rehearing” of this case. It will include a panel of all of the 16 active judges of the court. The recent ruling of evaluation goes directly against a ruling that came last month.

It was an order delivered by a 2-1 panel. According to it, a part of Mississippi’s state constitution was deemed unconstitutional. So, automatically, people living there will lose their right to vote. However, it would include individuals who had completed their prison sentences for certain crimes.

The court ruling from earlier held that this provision was “cruel and unusual” form of punishment. This provision in question also affected the Black citizens predominantly.

Jonathan Youngwood is the lawyer that is representing the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit. He will be rearguing on the case before a panel of 16 judges of the Fifth Circuit in January. The attorney is of the opinion that the right to vote is the very backbone of a democratic society.

These rulings are regarding Mississippi’s state constitution that calls for lifelong disenfranchisement for those who have been convicted of certain crimes. These crimes include murder, rape, and theft.

Earlier in 2018 former convicts from the state had filed a lawsuit against the provision to get back their voting rights.

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