A state appellate court refused on Wednesday to reconsider its April ruling upholding the legality of a 1976 Louisiana law that bars felons on probation and parole from voting. The case now heads to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Felons challenged the state law, claiming it’s unconstitutional and prevents more than 70,000 felons on probation and parole in Louisiana from voting. Bruce Reilly, deputy director of VOTE, said Wednesday the group’s members will do everything in their power to have their right to vote recognized.
“We are human beings who are doing all we can to be upstanding citizens of Louisiana We live in community, work, pay taxes, and raise families,” he said. “As such, nobody benefits whatsoever by denying us the right to vote. If our most basic right of citizenship can be taken away, none of our rights are safe.”
Circuit Judge Toni Higginbotham wrote for Baton Rouge-based 1st Circuit Court of Appeal last month that the state has a compelling interest in protecting the integrity of voter registration rolls and in regulating felons still under the state’s supervision.