Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota Supreme Court: Barring felons from voting not unconstitutional

High court acknowledges racial disparities, says Legislature has the power to change the law


February 16, 2023

Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Plaintiff Jen Schroeder, who was sentenced to 40 years probation for a drug possession charge and can't vote until she turns 71, spoke Wednesday at the ACLU Minnesota office in Minneapolis.

The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that barring felons from voting doesn't violate the Minnesota constitution, a long-awaited decision that arrived as the DFL-controlled Legislature is on the verge of changing the law.

DFLers are seeking to restore voting rights to felons as soon as they're no longer incarcerated. Under current law, those released from jail or prison must wait until they're off probation and have paid their fines to regain their voting rights.

Elizer Darris, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed by the ACLU, vowed to continue the fight. "I am not going to go back into the recesses of darkness," he said at a news conference where he and ACLU leaders expressed extreme disappointment with the decision.


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