Last month, Governor Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order immediately restoring the political rights of over 200,000 convicted felons, including 40,000 felons who committed violent crimes.
This order means violent felons will now be able to vote and serve on a jury.
The Governor's action is not only bad policy, but, more importantly, is also unconstitutional. His executive order defies the plain text of the Constitution, flouts the separation of powers, and has no precedent in the annals of Virginia history.
We are asking the Supreme Court to reverse the Governor's executive order and to prevent him from issuing similar orders down the road.
A plain reading of the Constitution, 240 years of practice, and precedent-setting Virginia Supreme Court cases lead to the unambiguous conclusion that the Governor's order is unconstitutional and cannot stand.
We have three separate and co-equal branches of government to serve as checks and balances against abuses of power. We are compelled to challenge the Governor's action to fulfill our constitutional duty to check the excesses of executive power.
I have received many calls and emails expressing outrage about Governor McAuliffe's overreach, and I appreciate all who took the time to contact me. As always, please keep me aware of your legislative and policy priorities.
Delegate Brenda L. Pogge