Va. Supreme Court allows Gov. McAuliffe’s latest attempt to restore felon’s voting rights

Terry McAuliffe (Photo: AP/Elise Amendola)
Terry McAuliffe (Photo: AP/Elise Amendola)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Supreme Court denied a motion by the Virginia Republican Party to prevent Gov. Terry McAuliffe from restoring the rights of former Virginia felons who have served their time according to the process he announced July 22nd.

In a statement, McAuliffe said that he was pleased about the decision.

“Restoring these Virginians’ civil rights is morally the right thing to do, and we will continue to move forward via a process that is in full compliance with the court’s July 22nd ruling and the precedent of previous governors,” he said. “It is my hope that the court’s validation of the process we are using will convince Republicans to drop their divisive efforts to prevent Virginians from regaining their voting rights and focus their energy and resources on making Virginia a better place to live for the people who elected all of us to lead.”

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William Howell issued a statement after the Supreme Court’s order Thursday, which said in part:

We are disappointed by today’s news but respect the Supreme Court’s order. Throughout this process, our goal was to hold Governor McAuliffe accountable to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. The governor stretched the bounds of the Virginia Constitution and sought to expand executive power in a manner we viewed as inappropriate and reckless. The Supreme Court strongly rebuked the governor’s executive overreach in the original case.”

Attorney General Mark Herring issued the following statement:

“This contempt motion was completely baseless and I’m glad the Supreme Court dispatched it so quickly. Governor McAuliffe is doing the right thing in giving these Virginians back their voice and their vote and I hope the legislature will join the effort.”

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