Court Rules Against Virginia Governor – He Bypasses the Ruling
Court Rules Against Virginia Governor – He Decides to Bypass the Ruling
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s plan to allow convicted felons to vote was shot down by the Virginia Supreme Court on Friday. But to get around their ruling he has decided to sign 200,000 orders of clemency.
The decision was 4-3 against the idea that felons should be allowed the right to vote when it was done en masse like the Governor did it. So McAuliffe is taking matters into his on hands to bypass the ruling.
“The men and women whose voting rights were restored by my executive action should not be alarmed. I will expeditiously sign nearly 13,000 individual orders to restore the fundamental rights of the citizens who have had their rights restored and registered to vote. And I will continue to sign orders until I have completed restoration for all 200,000 Virginians.” Terry McAuliffe
First a Victory for the Constitution, then…a lawless Governor follows in Obama’s footsteps.
Governor McAuliffe signed an executive order back in April that granted the right to vote for some 200,000 convicted felons.
In the past, a governor might be able to restore the rights of a convicted felon, if done so individually, as we previously reported.
But in this case, McAuliffe planned to immediately start a voter registration campaign for all 200,000 eligible felons. In an election year. When he’s friends with Hillary Clinton. But that’s just a coincidence, right?
The court’s ruling
Chief Justice Donald Lemons, who wrote the opinion for the court, said the claim that governors can grant blanket pardons is “irreconcilable” with the requirement in the Constitution that governors must report to lawmakers the “‘particulars of every case’ and state his `reasons’ for each pardon.”
“This requirement implies a specificity and particularity wholly lacking in a blanket, group pardon of a host of unnamed and, to some extent, still unknown number of convicted felons,” Lemons wrote.
The court ordered an immediate cancellation of the over 11,000 felons already registered.
Republicans in Virginia stated that the Governor had overstepped his authority with the Executive Order, and the court seemed to agree.
But just hours after the decision, McAuliffe vowed to push back by signing clemency grants for the state’s ex-offenders one by one.
“The struggle for civil rights has always been a long and difficult one, but the fight goes on,” he wrote. “I remain committed to moving past our Commonwealth’s history of injustice to embrace an honest process for restoring the rights of our citizens, and I believe history and the vast majority of Virginians are on our side.”
Virginia is a swing state, and normally Republican. With this election, who knows where it will end up? Not all convicted felons will vote Democrat, but some – maybe enough – could push the state toward Clinton.