The Virginia Republican Grand Old Party filed a case in court to nullify the Governor Terry McAuliffe order to restore 206,000 felons’ rights to vote. The Republicans are of the idea that the move would have a significant impact on the upcoming November presidential elections due to the fact that the Governor belongs to the Democratic Party.
The case was filed in the Virginia Supreme Court and it seeks to convince the justices to cancel all felons’ registrations that have been issued since the order was issued. The Republicans main argument is that McAuliffe’s order was against the constitution that he promised to abide by and protect. The lawsuit is being steered by leaders of the Republican Party.
According to the lawsuit, the Republicans indeed recognizes the fact that the Governor has the right to restore voting rights of any felon through an individualized grant of clemency, but he cannot restore the voting rights to all felons at the same time.
Virginia is one of the states to have a significant impact on the outcome of the elections. If the lawsuit fails, the Governor’s order will be an added advantage to the Democratic Party candidate who emerges victorious in the current party’s nominations. House Speaker William Howell, one of the leaders who is against this order, stated that the Governor’s order contravenes oversteps the constitution, it is not based on any annals of Virginia history, and violate the separation of powers.
On the other hand, the governor and other leaders from the Democratic Party have supported the order stating that felons who have served their jail terms and successfully completed their probation period should be allowed to vote. The Governor has also revealed that since signing the order into law, approximately 80% of the felons who have been granted the right to vote are non-violent offenders and were released from jail more than a decade ago.