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    01, April 2024
    Federal Trial Challenging Florida Law that Targets Voter Registration, Civic Engagement, and Political Speech Begins 

Federal Trial Challenging Florida Law that Targets Voter Registration, Civic Engagement, and Political Speech Begins 



April 1, 2024

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Federal Trial Challenging Florida Law that Targets Voter Registration, Civic Engagement, and Political Speech Begins 
Civil Rights and Latinx-led organizations are challenging a provision in SB 7050 that prohibits noncitizens from collecting or handling voter registration forms

Tallahassee, Florida – With the official proceedings of the Hispanic Federation v. Byrd trial beginning today, representatives from the plaintiff organizations and legal organizations arguing the case – including Hispanic Federation, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, 

ACLU, and Poder Latinx – hosted a press conference to preview the status of the trial, and how the noncitizen provision is an infringement of the organization’s first amendment right. 

Since SB 7050 was proposed, we have been clear that the noncitizen provision is both discriminatory and unconstitutional.  

Statements from plaintiff and legal organizations can be found below.

“We stand proudly along with our clients who have demonstrated courage and a true commitment to defending voting rights and the rights of our non-citizen community,” said Miranda Galindo, Supervising Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF. It’s clear that SB 7050 is designed to unconstitutionally undermine the ability of Latino civic organizations to convey their message that all eligible voters should participate in the democratic process. LatinoJustice has been defending, protecting, and expanding voter protection work for most of our organization’s 50-year history and will continue to challenge any barriers that might obstruct this right to our community.”  

“Hispanic Federation v Byrd is a clear reminder that sometimes-unconstitutional laws are passed and it’s up to organizations like ours to remain vigilant and challenge these illegal laws. Since the beginning, we have said that the noncitizen provision in SB 7050 is both discriminatory and unconstitutional, and so far the court has agreed with us every step of the way. We are committed to moving forward with this trial with the hopes of ensuring that Floridians will have fair access in registering to vote,” said Frankie Miranda, president and CEO of Hispanic Federation.  

“Everyone, including non-citizens, has a vital role in our democracy. Our clients are committed to building a vibrant, inclusive, and just democracy where all people can shape their futures. SB7050 places an extraordinary burden on our clients' efforts to register voters—especially in immigrant communities—and is a barrier to full political participation for eligible voters. We should encourage, not obstruct, increased civic engagement and community outreach,” said Roni Druks, Senior Counsel at Dēmos 
“SB 7050 severely limits our capability to interact and engage with the community on a meaningful level. Poder Latinx is an organization dedicated to fostering a vibrant, participatory democracy, and being obstructed from encouraging eligible voters to register and exercise their right to vote is contrary to our core mission, because democracy thrives on participation, inclusion and the ability of every voice to be heard" expressed Carolina Wassmer, Florida state program director at Poder Latinx.

“Helping citizens to register to vote is protected speech—pure and simple. This law severely limits our clients’ efforts to register voters in underserved communities. We are here today to once and for all block SB 7050 and protect our clients’ ability of to be part of the democratic process—in their own words and on their own terms,” said Victoria Ochoa, Cozen Family Voting Rights Fellow at the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. 

In May 2023, the coalition filed a lawsuit challenging SB 7050 for its chilling effect on political speech, civic engagement, and the unconstitutional exclusion of noncitizens from voter turnout activities. In July, a judge issued a preliminary injunction, blocking some portions of SB 7050 as the case is litigated. 

However, in March 2024 a federal district court issued a summary judgment in favor of voting and immigrants’ rights advocates challenging Florida SB 7050, which bars any noncitizen — regardless of lawful residence status — from working or volunteering for third-party voter registration organizations (3PVROs) who register eligible Floridians. SB 7050 has been a subject of controversy due to its infringement on free speech rights as well as the rights of noncitizens to encourage eligible voters to register. Yet SB7050s still unconstitutionally restricts civic organizations’ ability to convey their message that all eligible voters should participate in the democratic process. 

Hispanic Federation v. Byrd started Monday, April 1, in the U.S. District Courthouse for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee, FL. The court convenes at 9 a.m. ET, and the trial is expected to last at least two weeks. Plaintiffs and legal experts will be available for interviews during the trial.

To sign-up for daily updates of the trial click here.


About LatinoJustice
LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For over 50 years, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout the country. To learn more about LatinoJustice, visit