Republicans plan to sue McAuliffe over order restoring rights to felons

by
May 2, 2016

Virginia Republican leaders have hired a prominent conservative lawyer to lead an expected court challenge to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s recent order restoring voting rights for 206,000 felons.

General Assembly Republicans announced Monday that they have retained Charles J. Cooper, a former assistant attorney general under President Ronald Reagan who was once named “Republican lawyer of the year.” A founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk PLLC in Washington, Cooper defended California’s ban on same-sex marriage before the United States Supreme Court in 2013.

“It is the obligation of the legislative and judicial branches to serve as a check on overreaches of executive power,” House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, said in a prepared statement. “To that end, we are prepared to uphold the Constitution of Virginia and the rule of law by challenging Governor McAuliffe’s order in court.”

“We have retained Mr. Cooper to examine the legal options to remedy this Washington-style overreach by the executive branch,” said Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City. “Mr. Cooper is an extremely qualified attorney and we have every confidence he will proceed prudently, judiciously, and expeditiously.”

Taxpayer funds will not be used to fund a lawsuit, Republicans said.

  • BILL3000

    Voting Rights Restored following the felons’ successfully completing both their jail sentences & parole,NOT Prematurely Released from Prison,Wing Nuts of this Comments Thread.

    • Daniel Wright

      So you would employ bank robbers as security guards and child rapists as kindergarten teachers too? There are reasons for denying these people some rights. There are also political reasons behind restoring them. You do know that McCauliff is a Democrat,don’t you? You do know that this is an election year, don’t you? You do know that statistics show that mose ex convicts who vote, vote as Democrats don’t you? You do know that two plus two equals four,don’t you?

  • BILL3000

    Proving,Once Again,NOT that More Proof was Necessary,that Too Many Republican’s are Fascist Feces.

    • BeautifulAmerica

      Is that you in the front row there, Billy?

  • Phil Esposito

    What the hell is wrong with these dems. Oh wait, that’s right their party has been taken over by communists.

  • elda

    I’m wondering who checks on felons? I just took my daughter to register to vote and no one asked. They did look at her CA ID but do they automatically check when putting her info in some county database? I am surprised there aren’t felons voting now since I know there are people voting that are not even US citizens. I wonder just how low this country will go to damage our foundation beyond repair?

  • Sam

    I’m not for felons voting, at least not in mass like this, but I don’t think he is releasing anyone with this order, just giving them voting rights. Probably most have already served their sentences.

  • Mike Zimmerman

    Hmmm, we sent American soldiers over to Iraq so that they could fight, die and get injured so Iraqis could vote. However, we want to file a lawsuit to prevent citizens, who did their punishment for their crimes, from being allowed to vote. What sense does that make? Absolutely none!!!

    • @mikezimmerman y are you mixing apples and oranges? we went to Iraq looking for WMD and to eliminate a despot. If the Prez would not have removed American soldiers from Iraq, it would have been a better place with a chance at democracy. But Obama didn’t do that…he didn’t listen to his advisors. He just did what he thought was right and HE WAS WRONG! Now we have the “JV TEAM” known as ISIS infiltrating the entire Middle East. Why? Because of a socialist president whose international policy is ISOLATION. Furthermore, our country learned nothing from the HOLOCAUST! We allowed ISIS to kill thousands of Christian men, women, & children! SHAMEFUL!

      • Mike Zimmerman

        You completely missed the point I was making. I was making the point we were trying to give Iraqi people the right to vote; yet we don’t give American criminals the right to vote once they’ve paid their debt to society, nothing more.

        • @MikeZimmerman They lost their right to vote by committing a felony. They (former prisoners) are the dregs of society. I have no problem with this law because being a SOLID CITIZEN is expected in this country. There are consequences when you are convicted of a crime and losing your right to vote is one of them. Governor McAuliffe is trying everything he can to win over these former prisoners. This makes him a political “hack” IMO. I guess we agree to disagree on this. I respectfully understand your position though.

          • Mike Zimmerman

            I disagree with your statement that they are the “dregs” of society. People make mistakes and that is a fact of life. Look at what the bankers on wall Street did which led to the 2008 crash of the stock market. Their actions cost millions of people their homes, life savings and retirements. Yet none of them are in jail while someone gets arrested with an ounce of cocaine goes to jail. White collar crime is okay in this country but do blue collar crime and you go to jail. The whole system is corrupt and is badly in need of reform. The prisoners did their time and were released. Why should they not get their right to vote back. I understand why not while they’re serving their time. But once that time has been served their debt to society is considered to have been paid. Can you imagine how many people would be thrown in jail if we arrested people for every time they broke the speed limit?

          • Mike, you make some great points, particularly about those whose actions resulted in people losing their life savings. The only difference is this: those actions you purport to be “crimes” in fact were not crimes at all. On the surface it looks like a crime was committed because of the catastrophic financial results. However they were not crimes. Having said that, I certainly understand your point. Madoff is a different story altogether and he is suffering the consequences. Both of his sons are dead and his Wife has nothing to do with him. He is a swindler and deserves what he has gotten. IMO, street drugs are bad for society and those who peddle them deserve what they get. You have made a valid case to restore voting rights for those who have served time in prison. However, I might go along with that with some exceptions. If someone committed murder and was somehow granted parole, that level of crime should not be granted voting right privilege, as a for instance. Have a nice day and thank you for discussing this civilly. Alan

          • Mike Zimmerman

            They knew the mortgages they were handing out would fail. Greed and short term profit at the expense of the consumer as well as several companies. For a good documentary on what led to the 2008 crash I would highly recommend “Inside Job”. It really does a fine job of highlighting all the idiocy that was going on. There’s definitely a lot of blame to go around. The movie, “The Big Short” also highlights some of it, as well. I’ll give you just one example of the idiocy that was going on. One bank gave an itinerant farm worker, who spoke no English, a $750,000 mortgage. The guy only made $25,000 a year before taxes. You and I both know there’s no way he could make that payment and the loan officer had to know that as well. To me, that’s a crime.
            I always try to discuss an issue civilly. I do know I’ve seen more than a few discussions where there was no civility at all. Which is really a shame. No one person is right 100% of the time, and opinions can and do vary on a topic. However, one can still express oneself with civility.

    • Gnowark

      I’m going to make 2 assumptions Mike Zimmerman:
      1. You think releasing of the terrorists from Guantanamo is a good idea (as long as it isn’t into your backyard).
      2. The concept of ‘recidivism’ is too old for modern man to contemplate.

      • Mike Zimmerman

        What does Gitmo have anything to do with voting rights? Absolutely nothing.

        • Gnowark

          I notice you didn’t disagree, but any release of detainees from Guantanamo to CONUS will obviously become a part of the voting rights discussion, Sorry I was a little too far ahead of you, my apologies.

      • E Swisher

        The bottom line is that Mike made the point that these (felons) have paid their debt to society and should be given back their right to vote. Many probably may not… but that will be their decision. Recidivism…. is built into the system…. it is hard for a convicted felon to get a decent job because of a past mistake(s)… and keeping them from work only expedites their recidivism. It is hard to keep a good person down…and those that are trying to get their lives back together fit that description… but how much bullshit do they have to take to assimilate back into society before they have had enough…?

        • Gnowark

          Recidivism is not a fault of their ‘costs to society,’ it is a symptom of those that break the law, and ‘good persons’ don’t need an excuse to be a ‘good person.’ Loss of voting rights is PART of the debt to society they are paying. Nothing surprising there, it has been that way. Why should I, or any employer, hire (what you pretend was formerly) a criminal? [Makes your opinion of illegal aliens and our ‘obligations(?)’ to criminals obvious].

          • E Swisher

            You, as an employer are part of the problem…. there are a lot of good people that have screwed up (and I am sure you never have) that would be grateful for any employer to give them a real second chance. It is self righteous hypocrites (like you sound like) that are part of the problem…. then, say the person reoffended because the wanted to… Kick a man while he is down…and keep on kicking…. right?

          • Gnowark

            I KNEW it would turn to “well you aren’t perfect, either.” I have never been guilty, nor arrested, nor convicted, of ANY felony (but that I understand the last is true in the mind of all the people that you think should be restored). And yes, I feel that takes me out of consideration with the group of anti-social convicts. Don’t you have ANY pride that you aren’t guilty of hurting others, even if you DO occasionally travel at 33mph?

    • E Swisher

      If, and I seriously doubt it, McAuliffe was trying to do the right thing for the “right” reasons, he would have done so without the fanfare… He admittedly granted the right for felons to vote for political reasons, and political reasons only. to help sway the vote in favor of the Democrats (namely HliLiIary). I would not be surprised that he wore a neon sign saying I gave you the right to vote for HilLiary. The main point (that McAuliffe stated) for granting felons the right to vote was because (blacks are so disenfranchised)… not a word about doing so for all felons (to include whites and Hispanics) who were also denied their rights to vote.

      • Mike Zimmerman

        For all McAuliffe knows, some will vote Democrat and some will vote Republican. You can’t make a blanket assumption that they will all vote one party or the other. The point is, they paid their debt to society. Why should they be second class citizens because they screwed up. Let’s be honest here, almost every American of driving age has violated the speed limit at one time or another. But that doesn’t mean that they lose their voting rights for it.

        • E Swisher

          I’m in agreement with you about restoring their right to vote… but don’t do it for political reasons… and that is what happened, with the emphasis on (blacks being disenfranchised)…not that all felons are being disenfranchised.

    • CMSgt, USAF, Retired

      The felons were aware they would lose the right to vote if convicted of a felony. Now that is giving them the benefit of doubt in that they were so dumb they did not know, This is McAuliffe’s JV team that he is sure will vote dumbocrat for ever more. You do the crime you do the time to include losing certain rights afforded law abiding citizens.

      • Mike Zimmerman

        However, they have paid their debt to society, why shouldn’t they then get to vote again? For all McAuliffe knows some of them may vote Republican. The thing is, they’ve done their time. Now they are normal citizens. I think they should be able to participate in the political process. Some of these people in jail shouldn’t be there, in the first place. You can be arrested for having an ounce of marijuana, and be put in jail. However, if you destroy the economy like wall Street did, costing millions of people their homes, life savings and retirements and you not only don’t go to jail, you tend to get rewarded. Let’s also look at people who were convicted of crimes but we’re later exonerated. They should be able to get their voting rights restored as well.

        • CMSgt, USAF, Retired

          As for Wall street, if you have the right political connections, (Billary and Obummer) you are correct. You will be rewarded. For those who are later found to not be guilty I have no problem with them having their voting rights restored. As for any other felon, I stand by my original comments.

          • Mike Zimmerman

            We have a difference in opinion, and that’s okay. What is sad is the low number of people who do vote each year. To me voting is extremely important. I’ve been voting since I turned 18 and I’ve never missed an opportunity to vote.

          • CMSgt, USAF, Retired

            Like you I have voted in every election since I turned 18. Due to military service I have had to vote absentee a number of times but I still cast my vote.

          • Mike Zimmerman

            Thank you for your service to our country.

  • burns

    You let a quarter million felons loose at once, you are looking at mass murder and q year or more rounding them up after the re-commit, not if but when, what a stupid ass thing to do.

    • Gnowark

      I’ve never been able to accuse politicians of “thinking ahead.” Demoncrats are known for excusing themselves for “unintended consequences,” no matter how many warnings they should have heard.

    • BILL3000

      He restored the Voting Rights of convicted Felons who had served their time AND successfully completed their Parole,burns,ASSHOLE.
      Had anyone released a quarter million felons all it once,at least a few of them would be successful running for Republican Nomiations.

  • CMSgt, USAF, Retired

    McAuliffe and his close friend Billary along with the farce in chief should all three share a room with bars on the window and a door that locks from the outside. The dungocrats think that they can change the law to suit them the moment they are in a position that gives them a little power. I for one would be glad to volunteer to be a jury member for any of the above three. We were promised change and transparency nearly three years ago. Has the change benefited you or our country? As for transparency, it is hard to see through a brick wall.

    • Garry A DeManty

      As a ex Airforce person myself these draftdogging so in sos will do anything to win elections including risking the lives of Americans anywhere they can.McAuliffe a Clinton cronie is nothing but a lap dog for what the Clintons what him to do.These political leaders have all the bodyguards they need at our expense who cares about us.I sure hope the voters see through this bull before we all end up paying a terrible price for their stupidity.

      • E Swisher

        McAuliffe may be a lap dog, but he doesn’t realize he isn’t HilLiary’s “type”.

        • Garry A DeManty

          Who

          • Garry A DeManty

            Who is Hillarys type I dont think its Bill if it is he had a funny way of showing it through the years.

          • Phil Esposito

            Garry-He means she’s a lesbian.

          • Taskmasterendgame

            Ask Uma (Weiner’s Wife)

          • BILL3000

            YOU.

      • BILL3000

        Be so kind,please,Garry A DeManty,as to tell us where you got Your Stupidity for a Good price!

    • BILL3000

      “RETIRED”,CMSgt,USAF?,or RETARDED?
      Never fear,you can obviously be BOTH.

      • CMSgt, USAF, Retired

        Now, now Bill 3000. You are exposing your ignorance and understanding of what an ass McAuliffe is.

  • HENRI

    DON’T START THIS CRAP JUST BECAUSE THE DEM FEEL THAT THEY WILL LOSE THE ELECTION SO THEY WANT TO RELEASE KILLERS ON OUR STREETS JUST FOR AN ELECTION AND PUT US IN HARM WAY I THINK NOT THANK YOU AMERICA IF YOU AGREE

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