Virginia Supreme Court takes up challenge to McAuliffe rights restoration order

The Virginia Supreme Court next month will hear a legal challenge to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s order restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons.

The court will take up the lawsuit, filed by state Republicans, on July 19 in Richmond during a special session scheduled to accommodate this and other cases.

The decision came in response to Republicans’ request for an accelerated timeline. They would like the court to issue a ruling well ahead of the November general election.

In their lawsuit, House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City) and four voters argued that McAuliffe (D) could not legally restore rights to nearly a quarter-million felons with one sweeping executive order. Until now, governors restored voting rights to felons on a case-by-case basis.