Minnesota

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Hunt

Location: Minnesota
Court Type: Minnesota Supreme Court
Status: Ongoing
Last Update: January 16, 2024

What's at Stake

The ACLU and ACLU of Minnesota have intervened as defendants to block an attempt by Minnesota Voters Alliance — a private plaintiff group — to challenge a law that restored voting rights to individuals convicted of a felony while they are “not incarcerated for the offense” and “including any period when they are on work release.”

In 2023, the Minnesota Legislature enacted a law that restored voting rights to any individual with a felony conviction and allowed them to vote during any period in which they are “not incarcerated for the offense, “which includes any period when they are on work release. On June 28, 2023, conservative advocacy group Minnesota Voters Alliance and several Minnesota residents challenged this law as violating the Minnesota Constitution, arguing that people on supervised release, probation, or work release because of a felony conviction are not people who have been “restored to civil rights.”

The ACLU, ACLU of Minnesota, and the law firm Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP moved to intervene on behalf of several affected individuals affected by the challenge. On December 13, 2023, the district court granted intervention and denied Plaintiffs’ petition, holding that the plaintiffs lack standing and would nonetheless fail on the merits because the law fell within the bounds of the constitutional text allowing the legislature to determine how to restore people to civil rights.

Defendants appealed and sought accelerated review. On January 16, 2024, the Minnesota Supreme Court granted accelerated review. The state Supreme Court held oral argument n April 1, 2024, and a decision is now pending.

 

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