from Bill Still
lass=”” >That narrow victory that Democrats have been counting on in the swing state of Virginia may suddenly look far less likely come November.
The Virginia Supreme Court has struck down an April 22 executive order by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to restore en masse the voting rights of 206,000 convicted felons. McAuliffe, a longtime member of the Clintons’ inner circle, has served a campaign chairman for both of the Clintons’ presidential runs.
Felons strongly tend to vote for democrats, and McAuliffe’s executive order was expected to give Hillary Clinton a big bump in the upcoming election in November. Clinton even thanked McAuliffe in a Twitter post:
“Proud of my friend [Terry McAuliffe] for continuing to break down barriers to voting.”
McAuliffe’s April 22 executive order was not issued until two days AFTER the Virginia General Assembly went home for the year.
The Speaker of the House of Delegates, William Howell, blasted McAuliffe in the Richmond Times Dispatch:
“The singular purpose of Terry McAuliffe’s governorship is to elect HIllary Clinton president of the United States. This office has always been a stepping stone to a job in Hillary Clinton’s Cabinet.”
However, the Virginia Supreme Court saw it this way:
“Never before have any of the prior 71 Virginia Governors issued a clemency order of any kind … to a class of unnamed felons without regard for the nature of the crimes….”
“To be sure, no Governor of this Commonwealth, until now, has even suggested that such a power exists.”
The high court gave county voter registrars until Aug. 25 to cancel all of the 13,000 unconstitutional registrations since the April 22 order. However McAuliffe has vowed to hand sign individual clemency orders for all 13,000.
Yesterday, he defiantly pledged to hand sign more:
“I will continue to sign orders until I have completed restoration for all 200,000 Virginians.”
In the last presidential race, 3.9 million Virginians went to the polls. Therefore, an additional 200,000 Democrat voters amounts to a 5% advantage come November.
I’m still reporting from Washington. Good day.