Virginia Republicans are suing Gov. Terry McAuliffe for allowing people to vote.
Virginia Republicans said Monday they’re planning to challenge Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s recent executive order that restored the right to vote to more than 200,000 former felons in perhaps the most pivotal state in the presidential race.
GOP leaders in the state legislature announced that they’ve hired Charles Cooper, a former Justice Department official in the Reagan administration, to lead the effort. They said McAuliffe’s order exceeded the governor’s constitutional powers.
Responding to the announcement, Brian Coy, a spokesman for McAuliffe, a Democrat, said: “The Governor is disappointed that Republicans would go to such lengths to continue locking people who have served their time out of their democracy. While Republicans may have found a Washington lawyer for their political lawsuit, they still have yet to articulate any specific constitutional objections to the Governor exercising a power that Article V Section 12 clearly grants him.”
That appears to refer to the following language in the state’s constitution: “The governor shall have power … to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offenses committed prior or subsequent to the adoption of this Constitution.”
They left out the footnote that says that this only applies to Republican governors.
It’s a sad fact that the majority of people who are former felons are minorities and have a hard time getting to vote even if they had never lost their right to vote in the first place. It’s also a given that the reason the Republicans are enacting voter ID laws and filing suits like this is because they know that if there were no hindrances to voting, they would lose. So they obfuscate, deliberate, and cheat.
I can only hope that the Democrats will take notice and make sure the voters — including those who are allowed to vote — remember who it was that stood in the way to the voting booth.