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    Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan to restore the felon vote for Hillary in Virginia

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan to restore the felon vote for Hillary in Virginia

    Robo-sign tens of thousands of individual clemency requests after VA Sup Ct tosses out blanket restoration of voting rights.

    The Clinton campaign suffered a serious blow on Friday when the Virginian Supreme Court struck down Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s blanket reinstatement of voting rights for convicted felons who have served their time. (Opinion here)

    WaPo reported:

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons violates Virginia’s constitution, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday, dealing a major blow to the Democratic governor with implications for the November presidential race in the crucial swing state.

    In a 4-to-3 decision, the court ruled that McAuliffe overstepped his clemency powers by issuing a sweeping order in April restoring rights to all ex-offenders who are no longer incarcerated or on probation or parole.

    The court agreed with state Republicans who challenged McAuliffe’s order, arguing that the governor can only restore voting rights on a case-by-case basis and not en masse.

    Everyone, even Democrats, assume that ex-cons will vote Democrat.

    But Clinton crony McAuliffe has a plan. Rather than a blanket restoration, he’s sign each one individually.

    Think Progress, which obviously wants whatever helps Democrats, reports:

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is taking action to restore the voting rights of thousands of ex-offenders in the state after a court decision Friday put them in jeopardy. He’s getting around the Virginia Supreme Court’s ruling against him by signing 200,000 individual clemency grants to the state’s ex-offenders to ensure their right to vote in November.

    McAuliffe’s press release states, in part:

    “The men and women whose voting rights were restored by my executive action should not be alarmed. I will expeditiously sign nearly 13,000 individual orders to restore the fundamental rights of the citizens who have had their rights restored and registered to vote. And I will continue to sign orders until I have completed restoration for all 200,000 Virginians.

    I don’t see how robo-signing tens of thousands of clemency requests overcomes the court decision. It’s just a blanket restoration by other means. I would expect that the Court would put a halt to such a process, but don’t put anything past McAuliffe at least to try.


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    Are all these 200,000 felons getting their gun rights back, too? Asking for a local gun store.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Common Sense in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 24, 2016 at 8:36 am

      ^^^Mr. Branca hit a home run with this one!^^^

      200,000 felons armed and dangerous!

      If there was any doubt about what the democratic party has become this makes it perfectly clear!!

      The good folks of the nation have just about had enough of this lawless behavior.

        Milhouse in reply to Common Sense. | July 25, 2016 at 5:28 am

        No, he didn’t “hit a home run”. Nor did he strike out. He simply asked a question. You’re the one who struck out by jumping to a false conclusion. No, there will not be “200,000 felons armed and dangerous”. (Not legally, anyway. Some number of them, of course, have obtained guns illegally, just as they always have, but how is that relevant?)

      Milhouse in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 25, 2016 at 5:09 am

      No, they’re not. He’s only restoring their right to vote, not that to sit on a jury or anything else. It’s a partial commutation of sentence, not a full pardon.

    NoSlack | July 24, 2016 at 9:10 am

    When the president uses the robo signer for an official document when he’s out of town, the device is simply a remote hand moving a single pen and signing a single document based on the actual movement of a live hand. Gov Terry is talking about using a copy machine so he can sleep while the machine prints letters. This is not the intent of the requirement he sign each executive order restoring the privilege of voting individually. He is proposing the use of a printer with the image or vector file of his signature to PRINT vice sign a stack of documents. We need to call his action what it is. Printing, stamping or auto-writing but not signing. And not robo signing.

      Milhouse in reply to NoSlack. | July 25, 2016 at 5:16 am

      The constitution says nothing about a signature. He doesn’t need to sign anything; he could just wave a hand over the stack of pardons and say “let it be so”.

      In fact he doesn’t even need to have each pardon on an individual piece of paper; he can have all the names printed in one document, each with their conviction and time served, and approve the whole thing.

      All the court said was that he couldn’t do it to an entire class of unnamed felons, as the US president can do. (There is no question at all that the US president does have this power. But the VA court said state law was different.)

        SDN in reply to Milhouse. | July 25, 2016 at 9:04 am

        However, the Constitution DOES say something about due process. Which includes providing individual justification for each felon he pardons, to provide an assurance to the community that each felon has been determined to no longer be a danger.

          Milhouse in reply to SDN. | July 25, 2016 at 9:04 pm

          Um, no, it doesn’t. The only mentions of due process in the whole constitution are “That no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law”, and “That no free government, nor the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but […] by the recognition by all citizens […] that such rights cannot be enjoyed save in a society where law is respected and due process is observed”. Neither of these clauses have any bearing on the governor’s power of clemency.

          Nor is there any basis for your claim that due process “includes providing individual justification for each felon he pardons”. The due process of law is a very well-defined term, and it has nothing to do with this.

          In fact the constitution pointedly does not require the governor to communicate to the GA particulars of every case of political disabilities removed, or his reasons for removing the same.

          Finally, why should restoring someone’s right to vote depend on them no longer being a danger to the community? Supposing someone is likely to reoffend, and therefore is a danger to the community; how is that an argument against restoring his right to vote, if the governor chooses to do so?

    Old0311 | July 24, 2016 at 9:38 am

    He should have to do their time.

    carolmcl | July 24, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Whoever brought suit before needs to do so again. This is still breaking the law. There’s no review process on each case here. And until then, do as others have suggested: keep track of these felons to build info on whatever crime some of them go on to commit to show how bad this was for the citizens of VA. You have to wonder how much the long time Virginians rue the newbies.

      Milhouse in reply to carolmcl. | July 25, 2016 at 5:25 am

      Where does the constitution say anything about a review process? You’re just making stuff up now. The governor has the absolute right to remit any fine or penalty, reprieve or pardon any person, remove anyone’s political disabilities, and commute any capital punishment. He can do it for any reason he likes, and he doesn’t have to give it any thought. It doesn’t say whether he can do these things to an entire class of unnamed people, and the court just said he can’t. So fine, he won’t. He’ll do it to named people, and the court can’t say sh*t about it.

      keep track of these felons to build info on whatever crime some of them go on to commit to show how bad this was for the citizens of VA.

      How exactly is it bad for the citizens of VA to let someone vote, just because they then commit more crimes and go back to prison? How does letting them vote enable them to commit crimes?

    Milhouse | July 25, 2016 at 4:43 am

    I don’t see how robo-signing tens of thousands of clemency requests overcomes the court decision. It’s just a blanket restoration by other means.

    How so? The entire basis of the complaint was that the state constitution, unlike the federal one, only allows pardons of named individuals; OK, so he’ll issue them. That would be complying exactly with the court’s interpretation. Nobody pretends that there’s a limit on how many pardons he can issue.

    He also doesn’t have to sign each one; he can issue one pardon that lists 13,000 names, each with a brief description of their conviction and time served. That would satisfy the decision just fine, and take care of the practical considerations.

    I honestly don’t understand how you have a problem with this. Sure, everyone knows why he’s doing it, but how is that relevant? The law is the law no matter whose ox is gored.

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