Huge victory! Late this afternoon, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that Governor McAuliffe’s executive order granting a blanket restoration of rights to felons was unconstitutional.
This is a triumph for the Constitution and the rule of law. The Court directly rebuked the Governor, saying “Although the Governor is entitled to champion his views, he cannot do so in contravention of law.” Read the whole opinion here.
For the last 3 months, Governor McAuliffe has been trumpeting his executive order, even as numerous problems were found. McAuliffe signed it despite Governors Kaine and McDonnell concluding that such action was unconstitutional. Today’s ruling proves that in Virginia, at least, no one is above the law, and the Constitution exists to restrict unlawful actions, even by the Governor.
I was proud to help lead this historic effort, but many deserve thanks. Once General Assembly Republicans decided to sue the Governor, voters Bill Cleveland, Marianne Gearhart, Brett Hall, and William Slemp agreed to serve as petitioners. Our lawyers did an outstanding job preparing briefs and arguing the case. Ultimately, our arguments based on history and the text of the Constitution carried the day.
Delegate, 58th District