By Hans von Spakovsky
In what is likely an unconstitutional state action seemingly calculated to ensure that the purple state of Virginia goes blue in the November election, Governor Terry McAuliffe (D.) signed an order on Friday restoring the voting rights of 206,000 ex-felons in Virginia, including those convicted of murder, armed robbery, rape, sexual assault, and other violent crimes.
The order also restores their right to sit on a jury, become a notary, and even serve in elected office. McAuliffe believes that ex-felons can be trusted to make decisions in the ballot booth and the jury box but apparently not to own a gun. He draws the line at restoring their Second Amendment rights; that would be a bridge too far. His order specifically does not restore their “right to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.”
And while his order requires that felons complete probation and parole before enjoying restoration of their rights, it applies regardless of whether they have paid any court fines or restitution to victims. What McAuliffe entirely dismisses is the principle that if you won’t follow the law yourself, you can’t demand a role in making the law for everyone else, which is what you do when you vote.