By Robert Knight
The Democrat felon voting express train in Virginia hit a sharp curve on Monday when Republican lawmakers went to the state’s highest court to derail it.
Constitutional attorney Charles J. Cooper’s law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of Republican leaders in the Virginia legislature asking the state Supreme Court to block 206,000 felons from voting in November.
The lawsuit Howell v. McAuliffe states that Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe abused the separation of powers in an April 22 executive order that gives a blanket restoration to convicts who’ve completed their sentences.
McAuliffe is countermanding longtime policy, in which Virginia’s governors have restored voting rights by individual cases, the suit states. The felons who received the blanket amnesty include inmates convicted of rape, murder, and other major offenses.
It’s worth noting that McAuliffe, who served as a fundraiser for Bill and Hillary Clinton, ignored the fact that his two predecessors, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Bob McDonnell, both attempted blanket amnesty for some felons but abided by opinions from state attorneys general ruling this out as unconstitutional.
The current hyper-partisan attorney general, Democrat Mark Herring, who refused to defend the state’s constitutional marriage amendment, has no such qualms, which is why the GOP leaders resorted to the lawsuit.
“In his blanket restoration, the Governor didn’t consider the violence of the offense, the number of offenses, or whether the offender has paid his victim’s medical bills,” said a press release from Virginia 58th District delegate Rob Bell. “The executive order covers felons who are still on unsupervised probation. It makes 40,000 violent felons eligible to sit on juries, and is already being used by a defendant accused of murdering a state trooper to demand that these felons be included in his jury pool.”