It’s been a bit of a contentious week in Virginia. Terry McAuliffe was widely celebrated when he issued an executive order in the recent past which returned voting rights to approximately 200,000 ex-felons who served their time and paid their debt to society.
Fast-forward from that point to this week, when a consistently conservative-ruling Virginia Supreme Court overruled Governor McAuliffe’s E.O. and took those rights away again. They said that he didn’t have the authority under the state constitution as governor to do a blanket restoration to all of them in the manner he did.
Conservatives everywhere cheered. They absolutely love taking voting rights away from ex-felons for life, because most of them are people of color. It’s a great way to use institutional racism under the guise of crime and punishment.
The right-wing was sure they had the governor over a barrel. Right up until they didn’t.
Their problem was that Terry McAuliffe is a Democrat. The Democratic party has the ability to think, so he came up with a new idea. Conservatives have no idea of this concept, and would happily be believing the Sun orbited the Earth still, if those annoying scientists hadn’t pushed them to accept it.
Governor McAuliffe went to plan b, and will be personally and individually signing a pardon for every single person that had their voting rights taken away. It will be 200,000 some-odd signatures that are completely within his power as governor to make.
Governor McAuliffe gave the following statement:
The struggle for civil rights has always been a long and difficult one, but the fight goes on. I remain committed to moving past our Commonwealth’s history of injustice to embrace an honest process for restoring the rights of our citizens, and I believe history and the vast majority of Virginians are on our side.
And there you see what makes a Democrat a Democrat. No Republican would even care to try restoring voting rights to people, let alone to a minority group of them. Not only did Governor McAuliffe restore them, but he went far above and beyond in his efforts to do so.
As of now, McAuliffe is about 13,000 signatures into this project and it will be a little while until it’s finished, due to a need for more individual clemency orders to be printed for him to sign.
Bravo to Terry McAuliffe for doing not only the right thing but reminding everyone in our nation what it truly means to serve the people, rather than just yourself.
Featured image via Wikicommons