Supreme Court rules against McAuliffe over restoring felons' voting rights


RICHMOND, Va. (WVEC) – The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled against Governor Terry McAuliffe in his effort to restore the voting rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons.
McAuliffe had earlier in the year signed an executive order restoring the rights to felons who had completed their sentences, allowing them to vote, run for office, or sit on a jury.
In a 4-3 decision Friday, The Supreme Court said it “respectfully disagrees” with McAuliffe’s assertion that he has the executive power to make such a broad restoration of rights.


I think that everyone should be allowed to vote. It is a sacred right of democracy. It is also a duty according to the Church. This decision is unfortunate.


The quote isn’t saying rights can’t be restored, it just says that a governor can’t unilaterally restore those rights.


So, a convicted serial killer sentenced to life in prison should be allowed to vote?


The governor can restore the rights, the lawsuit was over him doing a blanket restoration. He has said if he lost the lawsuit he would restore the rights individually (requires signing 200,000 orders, better warm the autopen up).


That’s a separate argument; the felons in this case are those who have served their prison terms and paid all fines.


It is unjust to hold a person to their crime for life, once they have paid their debt to society in full.


That is correct.


Actually that would be quite wrong. By definition that person has forfeited numerous rights and won’t have paid their “debt to society” as long as they are alive.


That is your belief on liberty and democracy.


A felony is a crime that is so serious that the criminal has separated himself or herself from society.

VERY serious offense.


As long as he votes Democrat, yes.




This is the key point I think many people are missing.

We as a society have a process to determine if we want to extend voting rights to convicted felons. That process starts with the legislature, not with the stroke of a governor’s pen!

I’m quite concerned seeing on many CAF threads the number of people that think its OK for a government executive ( a president or governor) or judge to change law by themselves simply because they agree with the outcome of that action.

Process matters. If people are dissatisfied with a legislature’s inaction on changing a law, then you vote out the legislature, you don’t bypass it.


State by state sallybutler, here in the premier Blue World convicted felons hold office in politics after being convicted of political corruption. :slight_smile:

Released in 2010 after serving time in federal prison, Ganim returned to Bridgeport and successfully made a political comeback in 2015 when he again won election as mayor,[2] and was sworn in on December 1, 2015


Yes, in Virginia a stroke of the governor’s pen restores all rights to felons (except gun rights). The lawsuit was over the governor not signing individual orders for all of the felons. The governor has already said that if he lost the lawsuit he would sign the individual orders, as the power is given to him by Virginia law.


There is an expression: “If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime.”

This is serious stuff.


The felons in this case have done the time.


The “time” includes the loss of the rights that citizens enjoy.


And the governor can restore those rights if he chooses.

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