By Hans von Spakovsky and Roger Clegg

Whether—or when—felons should have their voting rights restored is a public policy issue that is open to debate, but there is no question that the authority to decide this issue lies with the states, not with Congress.

A federal bill such as S. 2550, sponsored by Senator Rand Paul, which would restore the right to vote to nonviolent felons after they have served their term of imprisonment and no more than one year of probation is a blatant example of congressional overreach that invades power specifically reserved to the states by the Constitution.

Read Heritage Legal Memorandum.