Voter Suppression

Virginia Supreme Court Sides With Governor on Felon Voting Rights

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Virginia state Supreme Court has told Republicans they cannot hold Governor Terry McAuliffe in contempt for violating a court ruling because he isn't violating a court ruling.

State Republicans successfully challenged McAuliffe's actions in court after he signed an executive order restoring the voting rights of former felons, but that ruling against the governor did not stop him from restoring their right to vote on an individual basis one-by-one.

The GOP lawmakers wanted to force McAuliffe to return to court to show that he is complying with its order that struck down the Governor’s attempt to restore voting rights to more than 200-thousand felons all at once.

Following that order McAuliffe began restoring voting rights on an individual basis but Republicans argued that he was doing so many in such a short time he was defying the court’s ruling.

The state Supreme Court evidently does not see it the way GOP lawmakers do.

The Republican party has fought tooth and nail to prevent former felons from voting, filing multiple challenges and taking their case all the way to the state Supreme Court. Those whose rights have been restored by the governor are overwhelmingly African American men convicted for non-violent crimes and petty drug offenses.

I'm sure I don't have to spell it out for you why Republicans want to prevent them from voting. Republicans would rather stop someone from voting in the first place than give them a good reason to vote for a Republican. It's anti-Democratic.

  • muselet

    House Speaker William Howell issued a statement which reads in part, “We are disappointed by today’s news but respect the Supreme Court’s order. Throughout this process, our goal was to hold Governor McAuliffe accountable to the Constitution and the Rule of Law.”

    Uh-huh. The Constitution and the Rule of Law. Sure.

    They’re not even trying to pretend any more, are they?


    • Christopher Foxx

      They’re not even trying to pretend any more, are they?

      No, they continue to pretend as they always have. That’s why they claim their interest is the Rule of Law.

  • Badgerite

    I think you spelled it out pretty good. Well done.

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    OH NOES! We can’t let those people vote. They’ll vote the wrong way, you know.

    (and never you mind that most of their “crimes” shouldn’t be illegal in the first place, nor that they’ve already paid whatever debt they had to society, nor that they’ll spend the rest of their lives as ex-cons and will have a tremendously hard time escaping the poverty trap and finding well-paying work)