Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, a long-time supporter of Hillary Clinton, made a shocking move to give voting rights to over 200,000 felons. This decision was made just in time to allow them to vote in the most important presidential race in history.
But Republicans are not backing down! Republican leaders just filed a massive lawsuit to put an end to it.
Virginia Republicans said Monday that they will ask the state’s highest court to block more than 200,000 felons from voting in November, arguing that Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe abused his power by restoring the voting rights of thousands of convicts who’ve completed their sentences.
In a lawsuit GOP leaders are filing in the Virginia Supreme Court, they say McAuliffe violated the separation of powers by effectively suspending the state’s ban on voting by felons. They say McAuliffe is ignoring decades of practice, which has made clear that governors can restore voting rights only on a case-by-case basis.
“Gov. McAuliffe’s executive order defines the plain text of the Constitution, flouts the separation of powers, and has no precedent in the annals of Virginia history. The governor simply may not, with the stroke of the pen, unilaterally suspend and amend the Constitution,” their lawyers wrote in the suit.
The lawsuit is being brought by House Speaker William Howell and Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment along with four other Virginia voters. They said they plan to file the petition with the court on Monday.
They’re asking the justices to prohibit election officials from registering felons and to cancel all such registrations since April 22. As of last week, election officials said nearly 4,000 felons had signed up to vote, media outlets reported.
McAuliffe’s administration has fiercely defended the action and says it’s confident the executive order will withstand the challenge. The governor says there’s nothing in Virginia’s Constitution that limits him to restoring rights only on an individualized basis and accused Republicans of trying to preserve “a policy of disenfranchisement” that has predominantly impacted African-Americans.
It’s nice that someone in Virginia is still willing to stand up for the rule of law.
McAuliffe knows his state will be a critical “swing state” and is working as a pro-Hillary operative, trying to cheat to ensure her victory. This lawsuit is important to ensure the elections are fair, and state laws still matter.
This is a breaking news story. We will update it as more details become available.