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Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan to restore the felon vote for Hillary in Virginia

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan to restore the felon vote for Hillary in Virginia

Robo-sign tens of thousands of individual clemency requests after VA Sup Ct tosses out blanket restoration of voting rights.

The Clinton campaign suffered a serious blow on Friday when the Virginian Supreme Court struck down Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s blanket reinstatement of voting rights for convicted felons who have served their time. (Opinion here)

WaPo reported:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons violates Virginia’s constitution, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday, dealing a major blow to the Democratic governor with implications for the November presidential race in the crucial swing state.

In a 4-to-3 decision, the court ruled that McAuliffe overstepped his clemency powers by issuing a sweeping order in April restoring rights to all ex-offenders who are no longer incarcerated or on probation or parole.

The court agreed with state Republicans who challenged McAuliffe’s order, arguing that the governor can only restore voting rights on a case-by-case basis and not en masse.

Everyone, even Democrats, assume that ex-cons will vote Democrat.

But Clinton crony McAuliffe has a plan. Rather than a blanket restoration, he’s sign each one individually.

Think Progress, which obviously wants whatever helps Democrats, reports:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is taking action to restore the voting rights of thousands of ex-offenders in the state after a court decision Friday put them in jeopardy. He’s getting around the Virginia Supreme Court’s ruling against him by signing 200,000 individual clemency grants to the state’s ex-offenders to ensure their right to vote in November.

McAuliffe’s press release states, in part:

“The men and women whose voting rights were restored by my executive action should not be alarmed. I will expeditiously sign nearly 13,000 individual orders to restore the fundamental rights of the citizens who have had their rights restored and registered to vote. And I will continue to sign orders until I have completed restoration for all 200,000 Virginians.

I don’t see how robo-signing tens of thousands of clemency requests overcomes the court decision. It’s just a blanket restoration by other means. I would expect that the Court would put a halt to such a process, but don’t put anything past McAuliffe at least to try.


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Humphrey's Executor | July 23, 2016 at 9:52 pm

OK, fine, keep track of every one he pardons and the subsequent criminal record.

    How would their subsequent crimes be relevant? The restoration of their voting rights won’t have facilitated those crimes, or endangered the public in any way, so how would they serve to discredit him?

      VaGentleman in reply to Milhouse. | July 25, 2016 at 9:49 am

      VA has sentencing enhancements that apply to repeat offenders. A full restoration pardon resets the counter so a subsequent offence would be treated as a first offender, not as a repeater.

Let’s say he spends 5 seconds signing each document. That means 12 petitions per minute.
200,000 / 12 = 16,666.66
Sixteen thousand six hundred sixty six minutes.
Let’s divide that by 60.
16,666 / 60 = 277.76

That’s 277 hours and 45 minutes non stop.
Eleven and a half days doing nothing but signing!!

These people definitely think that the rest of us are dumb.
“On a case by case basis” means to make individual decisions based on the circumstances and merits of each individual case.
That cannot be done in 5 seconds.

This is once again the D-Rats taking a dump on America.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Exiliado. | July 23, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    It’s a robot-signing — the mechanical pen will do the work, 200,000 times. It has a large reservoir.

    I agree that this SHOULD be the same as the blanket pardon he issued, but I’m never surprised at the hair-splitting that goes on in the courts.

      So if the judge who issued the first ruling gets a little peeved at this attempt to end-run the decision, can he simply invalidate all 200k documents with a single ruling?

      If so, the correct and proper time to do that is *after* all 200k have been robosigned, thus making the State have to maximize their efforts to fix their stupid decision.

      Milhouse in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 25, 2016 at 5:03 am

      It was this hair-splitting that enabled the decision against him in the first place. There can simply be no question that he has the right to pardon any individual he likes, for whatever reason he likes, and that he can do this to as many individuals as he likes. But the court found that this was different from doing it to an entire class of unnamed people.

      The court specifically compared it to the difference in 17th-century law between dispensation and suspension. The king had the power to give an individual permission to break any given law (“I, William II, authorise John Smith to pick pockets”), but he did not have the power to suspend the law for everyone (“Hey, everyone, pickpocketing is now legal, go nuts”).

      So McAuliffe’s repsonse is not hair-splitting, he’s just complying with the court’s hair-splitting. Your complaint is exactly like that of the anti-gunners when manufacturers complied with the “assault weapon” ban by modifying their products so as not to fit the definition. “Hey, they’re exploiting a loophole, no fair.” “No, you said what kind of weapons we can’t make, so we’re not making them. This is the kind you said we could make. Didn’t you mean that?”

    Milhouse in reply to Exiliado. | July 25, 2016 at 4:50 am

    There’s nothing in the VA constitution, legal history, or the decision to support your claim that he must give each case more than 5 seconds’ consideration. The decision rests entirely on the fact that the restoration he issued covers an entire class of people rather than named individuals. Not only can he sign 13,000 individual restorations, he can have one document prepared with all 13,000 names, a brief description of each one’s conviction and time served, and pardon them all with one signature.

Q. Why would tens of thousands of felons in Virginia vote for Hillary?

A. Professional courtesy.

WOW, talk about cronyism! Can’t make this up.

“I don’t see how robo-signing tens of thousands of clemency requests overcomes the court decision.”

They just need the decision against to take place after November. That’s all they care about.

This is just a great big FU! to the people and law of Virginia.

Just like the Collective.

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | July 25, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Um, no. He’s complying with the law. The constitution gives him the right to do this. He thought he could do it all at once, and the court said no, he needs to do it one at a time (or rather a batch of named individuals at a time). So he’ll do it that way. He has every right to do this, whether we like it or not. That’s what the voters agreed to when they elected this crook. They should have voted for Cuccinelli and this wouldn’t be happening. Unless it benefited the Republicans, of course, in which case Cuccinelli would be doing it and the Democrats would be complaining.

Just because he restores their voting rights, doesn’t mean they will bother to vote. Criminals aren’t renowned for their good citizenship.

Unless there’s an incentive.

    legacyrepublican in reply to rinardman. | July 23, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Don’t worry, if they don’t vote dead or alive, they will still vote Democrat.

    DINORightMarie in reply to rinardman. | July 23, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Not to worry…they will ALL vote – even if they never show up at a poll, or do a early voting submission.

    Democrats in VA have it all planned.

    They will vote 100% D – track them, and see……

    (I hope the courts can be given a request for an emergency hearing and ruling on this obvious disregard of their ruling, and the law in VA.)

    McAuliffe is a bona-fide scum bag, a bottom-dweller, a Hillary-loving crooked Quisling.

    It’s not merely about their voting. It’s also about recruiting them as Brownshirts.

This is a means for committing fraud by somebody other than the felons on the list.

I expect this won’t matter, vote fraud will deliver both VA and FL to Hillary. Get ready for more districts with 0 Republican votes and nearly 100% of registered voters voting.

Paul In Sweden | July 24, 2016 at 7:30 am

Think they need to point out a few Willie Hortons on a few TV ads.

Are all these 200,000 felons getting their gun rights back, too? Asking for a local gun store.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Common Sense in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 24, 2016 at 8:36 am

    ^^^Mr. Branca hit a home run with this one!^^^

    200,000 felons armed and dangerous!

    If there was any doubt about what the democratic party has become this makes it perfectly clear!!

    The good folks of the nation have just about had enough of this lawless behavior.

      Milhouse in reply to Common Sense. | July 25, 2016 at 5:28 am

      No, he didn’t “hit a home run”. Nor did he strike out. He simply asked a question. You’re the one who struck out by jumping to a false conclusion. No, there will not be “200,000 felons armed and dangerous”. (Not legally, anyway. Some number of them, of course, have obtained guns illegally, just as they always have, but how is that relevant?)

    Milhouse in reply to Andrew Branca. | July 25, 2016 at 5:09 am

    No, they’re not. He’s only restoring their right to vote, not that to sit on a jury or anything else. It’s a partial commutation of sentence, not a full pardon.

When the president uses the robo signer for an official document when he’s out of town, the device is simply a remote hand moving a single pen and signing a single document based on the actual movement of a live hand. Gov Terry is talking about using a copy machine so he can sleep while the machine prints letters. This is not the intent of the requirement he sign each executive order restoring the privilege of voting individually. He is proposing the use of a printer with the image or vector file of his signature to PRINT vice sign a stack of documents. We need to call his action what it is. Printing, stamping or auto-writing but not signing. And not robo signing.

    Milhouse in reply to NoSlack. | July 25, 2016 at 5:16 am

    The constitution says nothing about a signature. He doesn’t need to sign anything; he could just wave a hand over the stack of pardons and say “let it be so”.

    In fact he doesn’t even need to have each pardon on an individual piece of paper; he can have all the names printed in one document, each with their conviction and time served, and approve the whole thing.

    All the court said was that he couldn’t do it to an entire class of unnamed felons, as the US president can do. (There is no question at all that the US president does have this power. But the VA court said state law was different.)

      SDN in reply to Milhouse. | July 25, 2016 at 9:04 am

      However, the Constitution DOES say something about due process. Which includes providing individual justification for each felon he pardons, to provide an assurance to the community that each felon has been determined to no longer be a danger.

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | July 25, 2016 at 9:04 pm

        Um, no, it doesn’t. The only mentions of due process in the whole constitution are “That no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law”, and “That no free government, nor the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but […] by the recognition by all citizens […] that such rights cannot be enjoyed save in a society where law is respected and due process is observed”. Neither of these clauses have any bearing on the governor’s power of clemency.

        Nor is there any basis for your claim that due process “includes providing individual justification for each felon he pardons”. The due process of law is a very well-defined term, and it has nothing to do with this.

        In fact the constitution pointedly does not require the governor to communicate to the GA particulars of every case of political disabilities removed, or his reasons for removing the same.

        Finally, why should restoring someone’s right to vote depend on them no longer being a danger to the community? Supposing someone is likely to reoffend, and therefore is a danger to the community; how is that an argument against restoring his right to vote, if the governor chooses to do so?

He should have to do their time.

Whoever brought suit before needs to do so again. This is still breaking the law. There’s no review process on each case here. And until then, do as others have suggested: keep track of these felons to build info on whatever crime some of them go on to commit to show how bad this was for the citizens of VA. You have to wonder how much the long time Virginians rue the newbies.

    Milhouse in reply to carolmcl. | July 25, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Where does the constitution say anything about a review process? You’re just making stuff up now. The governor has the absolute right to remit any fine or penalty, reprieve or pardon any person, remove anyone’s political disabilities, and commute any capital punishment. He can do it for any reason he likes, and he doesn’t have to give it any thought. It doesn’t say whether he can do these things to an entire class of unnamed people, and the court just said he can’t. So fine, he won’t. He’ll do it to named people, and the court can’t say sh*t about it.

    keep track of these felons to build info on whatever crime some of them go on to commit to show how bad this was for the citizens of VA.

    How exactly is it bad for the citizens of VA to let someone vote, just because they then commit more crimes and go back to prison? How does letting them vote enable them to commit crimes?

I don’t see how robo-signing tens of thousands of clemency requests overcomes the court decision. It’s just a blanket restoration by other means.

How so? The entire basis of the complaint was that the state constitution, unlike the federal one, only allows pardons of named individuals; OK, so he’ll issue them. That would be complying exactly with the court’s interpretation. Nobody pretends that there’s a limit on how many pardons he can issue.

He also doesn’t have to sign each one; he can issue one pardon that lists 13,000 names, each with a brief description of their conviction and time served. That would satisfy the decision just fine, and take care of the practical considerations.

I honestly don’t understand how you have a problem with this. Sure, everyone knows why he’s doing it, but how is that relevant? The law is the law no matter whose ox is gored.