University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name League of Women Voters of Florida v. Browning VR-FL-0167
Docket / Court 4:11-cv-00628-RH-CAS ( N.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Attorney Organization Brennan Center for Justice
Case Summary
On December 15, 2011, the League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, and Rock the Vote brought this lawsuit in the District Court for the Northern District of Florida. They sued relevant Florida officials to prevent the enforcement of a Florida ... read more >
On December 15, 2011, the League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, and Rock the Vote brought this lawsuit in the District Court for the Northern District of Florida. They sued relevant Florida officials to prevent the enforcement of a Florida Statutes § 97.0575, as amended in 2011, and an implementing rule, Florida Administrative Code Rule 1S-2.042, which they claimed unconstitutionally and unlawfully burdens their efforts to encourage civil engagement and democratic participation by assisting Florida citizens in registering to vote and exercising their fundamental right to vote. The plaintiffs had all conducted and wish to continue to conduct voter-registration drives in Florida. The statute and rule regulate organizations that conduct voter-registration drives.

Through their attorneys the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, the plaintiffs alleged that the statutes violate the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association. In their first amended complaint, the plaintiffs also alleged a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

On May 31, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the statute. Judge Hinkle explained:
"Under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, an election-code provision of this kind must serve a legitimate purpose that is sufficient to warrant the burden it imposes on the right to vote. And under the National Voting Rights Act, an organization has a federal right to conduct a voter-registration drive, collect voter-registration applications, and mail in the applications to a state voter-registration office. But § 97.0575 and Rule 1S-2.042 severely restrict an organization's ability to do this. The statute and rule impose a harsh and impractical 48-hour deadline for an organization to deliver applications to a voterregistration office and effectively prohibit an organization from mailing applications in. And the statute and rule impose burdensome record-keeping and reporting requirements that serve little if any purpose, thus rendering them unconstitutional even to the extent they do not violate the NVRA."

The defendants filed an appeal to this order on July 2, 2012, but after the parties jointly moved for permanent injunction, the appeal was dismissed with prejudice. On August 30, 2012, Judge Hinkle granted the joint motion for permanent injunction, which enjoined the named Florida officials from taking any step to demand compliance with or enforce certain provisions of the statute in question. This case is closed.

Margo Schlanger - 05/31/2012
Saeeda Joseph-Charles - 12/20/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
General
Voting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Voter registration rules
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Voting Rights Act, section 2, 42 U.S.C. § 1973
Defendant(s) Florida Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description Three non-party organizations that wish to conduct voter registration drives.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Brennan Center for Justice
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2012 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
4:11−cv−00628−RH−CAS (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0167-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/31/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
VR-FL-0167-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/15/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 5]
VR-FL-0167-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/16/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 8]
VR-FL-0167-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/19/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 58] (863 F.Supp.2d 1155) (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0167-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/31/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Leave to Intervene [ECF# 79] (283 F.R.D. 687) (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0167-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/06/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Permanent Injunction and Order for Entry of Judgment [ECF# 83] (2012 WL 12810507) (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0167-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 08/30/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment [ECF# 84] (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0167-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/31/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hinkle, Robert Lewis (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0167-0001 | VR-FL-0167-0006 | VR-FL-0167-0007 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Atkins, Robert A. (New York)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004
Berse, Farrah Robyn (New York)
VR-FL-0167-9000
Coffey, Kendall Brindley (Florida)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Dietert, Zachary Alan (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Ebenstein, Julie A. (Florida)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Kasdan, Diana (New York)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Marshall, Randall C (Florida)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Marziani, Mimi Murray Digby (Texas)
VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Oh, Alex Young K. (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004
Parent, Abigail Emily (Florida)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Rowland, Lee B. (New York)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Taylor, William J. Jr. (New York)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004
Weiser, Wendy R. (New York)
VR-FL-0167-0002 | VR-FL-0167-0003 | VR-FL-0167-0004 | VR-FL-0167-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, Ashley E. (Florida)
VR-FL-0167-9000
Nordby, Daniel E. (Florida)
VR-FL-0167-9000
Rodriguez, Raquel Aurora (Florida)
VR-FL-0167-9000
Winship, Blaine H (Florida)
VR-FL-0167-9000

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