Yesterday, Common Cause Minnesota joined the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota in requesting to file an amicus brief to support the full restoration of voting rights in the Schroeder v. Minnesota Secretary of State case before the State Supreme Court. Last year, the organizations filed an amicus brief with the Minnesota Court of Appeals and have filed again in support as the higher court hears the case. The brief asks the Minnesota Supreme Court to declare the practice of disenfranchising members of the community with prior felony convictions—more than 55,000 Minnesotans—unconstitutional.
“Depriving tens of thousands of tax-paying Minnesotans of their right to vote is taxation without representation,” said Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota. “Minnesota’s racist felony disenfranchisement laws keep Minnesotans, particularly those who belong to communities of color, locked out from the political process, despite maintaining employment and paying taxes. The Minnesota Supreme Court must rule these discriminatory laws unconstitutional so that every person’s right to be heard by our government is protected.”
According to The Sentencing Project, Minnesota’s felony disenfranchisement laws deny the right to vote to 55,029 Minnesotans, disproportionately impacting people of color. Of the 55,029 Minnesotans, 17 percent are Black and 6 percent are Latino, despite only representing 7 percent and 5.6 percent of the population respectively.
To view the brief, click here.