Michael Scott, one of the plaintiffs in the case, Michael Scott et al. v. Debra Bowen. Photo from the ACLU website.
This week we blogged about an important case challenging the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of voters in California. Today we have some exciting news regarding the case – an Alameda County Superior Court Judge ruled that Secretary of State Debra Bowen illegally stripped people on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) and Mandatory Supervision under California’s Criminal Justice Realignment Act of their voting rights two years ago, saying they are in fact eligible to vote.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for California’s democracy,” said Michael Risher, staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. “By following the plain language of our state’s voting laws, the court’s ruling will help ensure that in California, one of the nation’s most fundamental rights – the right to vote – will be protected and not restricted.”
”Our democracy belongs to everyone who lives in America, not just a select few,” said Dorsey Nunn, executive director of All of Us or None, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “Democracy functions best when the largest number of citizens possible participate, including formerly incarcerated people.”
We at Root & Rebound applaud all the individuals and organizations that brought this lawsuit: the League of Women Voters of California, All of Us or None, The ACLU of California and the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights. This is an amazing victory for returning citizens in the state. It is also an encouraging sign for all of us who work to protect the rights of people in reentry – as a state and a nation, we are moving in the right direction – away from legal barriers and exclusion – to upholding the worth, dignity and contributions of all of our citizens.
– The R & R Team