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The Supreme Court Chamber in the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul. (Staff photo: Kevin Featherly)

Supreme Court Digest: Feb. 15, 2023



Right to Vote


Appellants—each of whom was convicted of a felony but is now living in the community while on probation or supervised release—filed an action for declaratory relief and injunctive relief against respondent Secretary of State. Appellants sought a declaration “that individuals are restored to civil rights and possess the fundamental right to vote guaranteed by Article VII of the Minnesota Constitution by virtue of being released or excused from incarceration following a felony.”  Appellants also claimed that Minn. Stat. § 609.165 violated the fundamental right to vote and the guarantee of equal protection embedded in the Minnesota Constitution. The District Court granted the Secretary of State’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the lawsuit. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

The Supreme Court held that (1) under Article VII, Section 1, of the Minnesota Constitution, a person convicted of a felony cannot vote in Minnesota unless the person’s right to vote is restored by some affirmative act of the government including a law passed by the Legislature; Article VII, Section 1, does not provide that a person deprived of the right to vote due to a felony conviction is automatically restored to that right upon release from incarceration;  (2) Minn. Stat. § 609.165 does not violate the fundamental right to vote; and (3) plaintiffs have not offered sufficient evidence to prove that Minn. Stat. § 609.165 violates the equal protection principle contained in the Minnesota Constitution. Affirmed.

A20-1264 Schroeder v. Simon (Court of Appeals)







Attorney Discipline


Jorge L. Sanchez was reinstated to the practice of law, effective upon payment of the required registration fees, and placed on probation for 3 years.

A21-0268 In re Sanchez

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