A state appeals court in Baton Rouge is being asked to reconsider the constitutionality of a more than four-decade-old Louisiana law that prohibits felons on probation and parole from voting. State District Judge Tim Kelley, of Baton Rouge, upheld the 1976 law in March of last year, saying he agreed with the plaintiffs who challenged its legality but could not bend the law. The plaintiffs — a group called Voice of the Experienced, or VOTE, and several felons — say the law prevents more than 70,000 felons on probation and parole in Louisiana from voting.
The 1st Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed Kelley’s ruling last month in a written opinion. The plaintiffs are now asking the court for a rehearing.
“The Opinion results in a grave impact on the fundamental right to vote of thousands of Louisiana’s citizens who are on parole and/or probation,” attorneys for VOTE and the other plaintiffs argue in their rehearing application filed April 27.
The plaintiffs have vowed to take the case to the state Supreme Court.