A federal judge has temporarily barred counties from sending “notices of examination letters” to individuals on a list of potential non-citizens registered to vote supplied by the Secretary of State’s office.

“Perfectly legal naturalized Americans were burdened with what the Court finds to be ham-handed and threatening correspondence from the state which did not politely ask for information but rather exemplifies the power of government to strike fear and anxiety and to intimidate the least powerful among us,” U.S. District Judge Fred Biery wrote in a four-page order. “No native born Americans were subjected to such treatment.”

Local officials may continue to take steps to determine whether individuals on the list are not citizens, “so long as it is done without communicating directly with any particular individual on the list.” However, they may not “remove any person from the current voter registration list” without the Court’s authorization.

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