Posted on June 13, 2018

Virginia High Court Strikes Down Gov’s Order Giving Felons Right to Vote

Associated Press, July 22, 2018

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s action restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons was unconstitutional, Virginia’s highest court ruled Friday, siding with Republican lawmakers who said the governor overstepped his authority.

In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Virginia ordered the state to cancel the registration of the more than 11,000 felons who had signed up to vote so far under the governor’s April executive order. {snip}


The executive order restored voting rights of felons who completed their sentences and also allowed them to run for public office, serve on a jury and become a notary public. {snip}


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.