Five Democrat Virginia prosecutors joined 19 Republican and 19 independent prosecutors in filing a legal brief in Virginia’s Supreme Court to overturn McAuliffe’s executive action restoring voting rights to 206,000 felons. The group represents 55% of Virginians. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch,Â
The prosecutorsâ€™ filing argues that McAuliffeâ€™s order places an undue burden on them by making a large number of felons eligible to vote, serve on juries and petition courts to regain firearm rights without an individualized review by the executive branch. The prosecutors said they have an interest in the case because of their roles in selecting juries and responding to felonsâ€™ civil petitions to regain their gun rights, which can occur only after a restoration of political rights. They also said their offices could become involved in litigation if questions arise about the validity of a felonâ€™s voting status.
The brief was authored by Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney Jim Plowman who said the order
â€œmakes no distinction among felons, treating the nonviolent felon the same as the cold-blooded killer, and the one-time offender the same as the career criminal.â€
Plowman was joined by other Northern Virginia prosecutors, Fairfax County Commonwealthâ€™s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh, Prince William County Commonwealthâ€™s Attorney Paul B. Ebert and Arlington County Commonwealthâ€™s Attorney Theophani K. Stamos.
The attorneys are asking the Virginia Supreme Court to overrule the Governor’s order and cancel the voting rights of the 7,000 felons whoÂ haveÂ already registered to vote.
Governor McAuliffe said the lawsuit is ‘baseless’ and he has the power under the Virginia Constitution to restore voting rights to the 206,000 felons.
Brian Coy, spokesman for the Governor said,
â€œThe administration of doing the right thing can be difficult at times, but that should be no excuse for marginalizing hundreds of thousands of Virginians,â€
The Virginia Supreme Court will hear the case on July 19th.