The ACLU-NJ and Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers Law School filed a lawsuit on January 6, 2004, challenging the denial of voting rights to persons on probation or parole in New Jersey. The lawsuit, the first in the nation to raise a state constitutional challenge to such a law, maintains that because minorities are vastly overrepresented in the criminal justice system, our laws denying probationers and parolees the right to vote result in a denial of the New Jersey Constitution's guarantee of Equal Protection under the law. Plaintiffs in the suit are the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP, the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, Councilwoman Patricia Perkins-Aguste and Councilman Carlos J. Alma, both of Elizabeth, and ten individuals on parole or probation. On June 30, 2004, the lower court ruled against plaintiffs. The ACLU-NJ appealed and NJ Supreme Court denied the petition for certification, so the appellate decision stands.
NAACP v. Harvey
Frank Askin/Rutgers Constitutional Litigation Clinic; Laughlin MacDonald/ACLU Voter Rights Project
January 26, 2004
New Jersey Superior Court