Resource: Terrence Johnson et. al. v. Bredesen, et. al.

By: ACLU Tennesee

November 10, 2010

ACLU Tennesee

Tennessee law requires people who have completed sentences for felony convictions to pay restitution and child support before having their voting rights restored. This proves difficult for people like Terrence Johnson and Jim Harris, who actually gained full custody of their children but who couldn’t afford to pay the back child support they owed.

In Johnson, et. al. v. Bredesen, et. al., ACLU-TN and the ACLU Voting Rights Project challenged this law on the grounds that making the payment of financial obligations a condition of voting is an unreasonable burden on the right to vote, similar to a poll tax.