Breaking news today: Virginia Delegate Rob Bell shared an update on the now pending litigation with regard to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s unconstitutional blanket reinstatement of all felon’s voting rights just prior to the presidential election. The Virginia Supreme Court announced that it will hold a special session to hear the suit. The petition can be found here: Howell v. McAuliffe. We discussed the pending suit last week as well as the fact that McAuliffe has recently come under investigation by the FBI for questionable donations to his gubernatorial campaign.
The email detailed a few keypoints about the Governor’s actions and their likely impact.
[T]he Governor's order is continuing to cause (what are hopefully) unintended consequences. Because the order restores the right to sit on juries, a Dinwiddie defendant accused of murdering a state trooper is arguing that such felons must be included in his jury pool. Prosecutors in Loudoun and Fauquier have asked Governor McAuliffe for a list of the restored felons so they could strike them from juries hearing cases of similar crimes. McAuliffe refused to release the list and even rejected a follow-up FOIA request.
By treating all felons exactly the same, McAuliffe’s order didn't consider the violence of each offense or whether the offender finished paying his victim’s medical bills. Legal advisors to Governor Kaine and Governor McDonnell explicitly rejected the Constitutionality of such a blanket restoration.
Bell points out the glaring concerns for the judicial system. Allowing murders and rapists to be on a jury for a murder or rape case is quite frankly obscene and defies all levels of reasonableness and logic. The case is scheduled to be heard on July 19, 2016, at 9:00 AM.