Featured

Why Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe can’t give felons right to vote without restoring their right to own guns

26 Apr , 2016  

Flag_of_Virginia.svg

Governor Terry McAuliffe has given felons in Virginia the right to vote without allowing them the right to own a gun.  His executive order will let murderers and rapists will be able to serve on juries.  Say someone has committed multiple violent crimes.  Is there an argument to be made that we have learned something about that individual’s preferences?  Presumably this is the argument for why McAuliffe doesn’t want to restore their rights to own guns.  But why then Virginians would want to let violent criminals help make public policy and serve on juries?

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Friday restoring the voting rights of 206,000 ex-felons, a sweeping action the governor said was aimed largely at rectifying Virginia’s “long and sad history” of suppressing African-American voting power. . . .

The action . . .has the potential to expand the state’s voter rolls, currently estimated at about 5.4 million, by as much as 3.8 percent. . . .

In his speech, McAuliffe anticipated a strong response from Republicans, who said the order’s lack of distinction between violent crimes and less serious offenses will give murderers and rapists the right to vote, serve on juries, hold public office and notarize documents. . . .

McAuliffe’s order does not restore firearm rights. The ability to purchase and own a gun still would require court action. . . .

But McAuliffe action faces a significant problem.  From Article II, Section 1 of the Virginia Constitution:

No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. 

Presumably McAuliffe made his move for a simple reason:

In fact, it looks as if virtually all felons are Democrats. . . .

,

By



4 Responses

  1. […] a sticky wicket for McAuliffe mentioned by John R. Lott, a crime research expert. Article II, Section 1 of the Virginia Constitution states that voting […]

  2. […] a sticky wicket for McAuliffe mentioned by John R. Lott, a crime research expert. Article II, Section 1 of the Virginia Constitution states that voting […]

  3. […] a sticky wicket for McAuliffe mentioned by John R. Lott, a crime research expert. Article II, Section 1 of the Virginia Constitution states that voting […]

  4. Eric says:

    The Governor of Virginia’s clemency power within the context of the simple pardon only extends to the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for office or be a notary public… it does not extend to firearm rights. There is a process outlined for firearm rights, but it requires petitioning the circuit court of your residence for that restoration. The Virginia Governors have been restorign civil rights without restoring gun rights for decades upon decades…. Nothing is really any different here other than more simply pardons are being issued.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *