A District Court in Tampa has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Florida’s voter purge, on the grounds that the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act renders the lawsuit moot. The suit, which was filed by a Hispanic civil rights group and two naturalized citizens, argued that the state needed to clear its purge of suspected non-citizens with the Department of Justice, because certain counties in Florida were covered under Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. The court also lifted a stay that prevented officials from selecting any new names of suspected non-citizens from the voter rolls.
Section 4 of the VRA requires that certain parts of the country with a history of discrimination at the polls get preclearance from the Department of Justice before making changes to voting laws. Section 3, which established a formula for determining which areas are covered under Section 4, was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in June, rendering Section 4 inoperable.